The COVID-19 crisis has radically changed our lives. Just a few months ago, we had no idea our 'world' would be confined to our homes and social distancing would be a think.
This crisis is a powerful reminder of how important freedom is - and how much we need human connection!
While fear and anxiety of the uncertain future is normal and warranted, remember that you are not alone and we are all impacted in one way or another.
So, it's important to remember:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. Viktor E. Frankl
This is the challenge each of us must rise to! If we're going to be stuck at home, we may as well make the most of it.
1) Explore your Life Vision
Rather than watching endless news streams, you can choose to focus on a bigger picture - your future. What do you want from the rest of your life? What would you be disappointed you did NOT do? Where do you envision yourself in 10 years?
Having a clear vision of how you want your life to be is a powerful motivator. A vision helps us work towards our goals, take action and make change. Soon, we'll all be super-busy again - and a vision might be just what you need stay focused!
Here are 5 questions to ponder or journal around to go deeper:
TIP: Remember to think possibility not probability! Don't limit yourself and your ideas because you don't believe something is likely. Instead believe it's possible - and even if you don't get all the way there, you may get close - or even find something better along the way!
In health coaching, one of the first things we do is create a vision for how you’d like to live your best life. It can be a very powerful moment and is profoundly motivating. If you’ve ever thought about what it might be like to have a health coach, reach out and let’s set up a free “discovery session”.
2) Start a Journal
If you've always wanted to journal, now is a good time to start. More than just keeping a record of your day, a journal can help you explore and sift through your feelings and experiences and learn from them. It's a great way to get to know you and to record some of the emotions you are experiencing throughout this challenging time.
It's great to choose a beautiful notebook, but the most important thing is to just get started. Here are some prompts to get started with:
You may find this How to Journal article from the IAJW (International Association for Journal Writing) helpful to get you started.
Some people prefer to journal with a daily prompt. You might like The 5 Minute Journal to help you out. It’s like “guided journaling”!
3) Build Your Physical Strength, Fitness Level or Flexibility
Building your physical strength is powerful and health-boosting! Not only is physical strength and flexibility life-affirming and good for our health, but feeling more physically powerful actually helps us feel more empowered and less helpless in life too. And don’t we all want to be sturdier humans?
Add some physical activity into your schedule - as little as 15 minutes daily.
There are many options to boost your physical strength and health. Here are some ideas:
REMEMBER: BEing stronger = FEELING stronger and more in control! And building your PHYSICAL strength or fitness = REDUCED feelings of helplessness.
3) Learn with Non-Fiction Books
Use this time at home to educate yourself with non-fiction books. There is so much to be gained - like self-confidence, negotiation skills, health (sleep, nutrition), how to have difficult conversations and much more.
What keeps you up at night? There's probably a book about that! What do you wish you were better at? There's probably a book about that too!
Here are some book ideas to get you thinking:
4) Gain a New Skill with Online Learning
There are so many opportunities online to gain a new skill and they're growing by the day!
Grow your personal or creative skills or choose a new skill to learn and take back to work with online training providers like Coursera, Udemy or Creative Live.
If there's a skill you always wanted to learn, search for it. But be sure to read the course descriptions thoroughly, check reviews if there are any - and check money-back guarantees as you need to!
And with so many learning options at a number of different price points, there will be something out there just perfect for you. And there’s always YouTube!
I am loving some online cooking classes via America’s Test Kitchen. Now’s the time to hone those cooking skills to make good quality food that nurtures us physically, mentally and emotionally.
5) Begin a Meditation Practice
Meditation is a practice that has been proven scientifically to manage stress, give us peace, help us be more creative and be happier (for starters). It's extremely beneficial and allows us to be just as we are, in the present moment, without judgement.
There is a lot to learn about meditation - and it's called a Meditation Practice for a reason. But it's also not as hard as it sounds. You can start with as little as 5 minutes a day - and it's good to build a routine, so you meditate at the same time every day. Get a book on "Meditation for Beginners" or go to Youtube or Google and search for "How to Meditate". Another good place to start is "Metta" or "Loving Kindness" meditation. Again, search online and you'll have lots of options to choose from.
I love using a guided meditation and my favorite app is called Ten Percent Happier. Before each guided meditation, they offer a brief 2-3 minute learning session that helps in understanding a concept. You learn as you go!
They are also offering 3 free months in light of all the uncertainty and anxiety around the coronavirus. Use this link for the promo code: 3 Months free with 10% Happier
I also love everything Nick Wignall puts out and he has a great article on mindfulness. Check it out here.
6) Send "Real" Snail Mail Letters or Cards
Go old-fashioned. Who doesn't love to receive a lovely card or handwritten letter in the post box! Rediscover the lost art of letter-writing and make someone's day.
Yes, you could send an email appreciating someone, and that's great. But imagine your recipient's face as they pick up that hand-written card in the mailbox.
Wondering what to say? Write from the heart! Here are some ideas to get started:
These are just a few ideas for you to try. What ideas do you have?
While we are certainly being challenged by the current situation, we also have a unique opportunity to find the good in this moment.
When we look back at the time spent in our homes juggling jobs, home-schooling, parenting, close quarters, isolation, boredom or fear about the future what do we want to see?
What can we say we did? How did we choose to be? There is opportunity all around us. Are we open to seeing it? Can we move through this time with strength, optimism and hope?
We are stronger and more creative than we even know. Trust in yourself to see the light and then shine on to help others see the way!
DATE: Paleo Nutrition Seminar August 17th
PLACE: CrossFit Xtra Mile in Fenton
Challenge dates: Monday Aug. 19 to Wednesday August 18
Limited to 15 participants.
Contact Leeny at Leenyhoff@gmail.com or 314-960-0696 to reserve your spot.
Payment options: Venmo, PayPal or Zelle
I'm excited to announce that I will be leading a 30-day Paleo nutrition and lifestyle challenge to set the "reset" button as we transition into fall. This challenge is an opportunity for enhanced learning and understanding of the things that positively affect health with the support and accountability of a group.
With a 30 day paleo reset, you will come to understand how you are unique in your response to different foods. The aim is to set a new "baseline of health" by focusing on whole, unprocessed foods and taking out foods that are known gut irritants, cause systemic inflammation and disrupt proper hormone signaling. We will enjoy nature's bounty of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy fats and quality proteins. We will also be leaving out sugar and alcohol for the duration of the challenge because we know that things don't always end well with those in the mix!
In addition to nutrition, we will also have a weekly focus on other important lifestyle factors such as:
Exercise and Recovery
Stress management practices including meditation, gratitude and deep breathing practices
Environmental factors that may be getting in the way of your best health
As a group, we will "design our space" and create a supportive yet challenging atmosphere needed for growth. A private facebook page will also be created to share recipes, discuss roadblocks and obstacles, answer questions and to cheer one another on.
What sets this challenge apart from past challenges is that we will also incorporate weekly group coaching sessions as well as individual 1:1 health coaching sessions to get your goals crystal clear and address any obstacles that get in your way. This added feature will add a unique 1:1 experience, so helpful in creating lasting behavior change.
CrossFit Level 1 certified since 2009
Precision Nutrition certified Level 1
ADAPT Functional Health Coach
MA - Clinical Psychology
BA - Biology
I am passionate about all things health and wellness. I've been coaching CrossFit classes since 2009 and have recently completed Kresser Institute's year long ADAPT functional health coaching program. I am armed with information to help you achieve your vision of health and wellness. Through experiential learning, personal experiments, goal setting and accountability, we will work together to create your roadmap to optimal health. And we will have fun doing it!
If you have any questions or to reserve your spot, please email me at Leenyhoff@gmail.com
I have some funny ass friends. And when you have funny ass friends, you often get their unique, unfiltered world view. I was reminded of this the other day when I ran into an old friend on a walk. (Old as in we go back a long way and old as in we are both in our 50's). We were talking about how much harder it is to fight the midlife middle when you hit your 50's and how we wish we looked like we did 10 years ago when we wanted to lose 10 pounds.
She said her husband told her he was going to have "DSM" inscribed on her tombstone...Diet Starts Monday. With that attitude to start the weekend, she went on, you can enjoy all life has to offer knowing that you will reel it in on Monday and get serious. I told her that in my house, we call it "going out with a bang". We laughed about our rationalizations but it got me to thinking about how pervasive this rationalization is. Turns out, the hope and excitement that come with committing to a healthier way of living can be fleeting as the harsh reality of behavior change hits you square between the eyes. By Wednesday or Thursday, if you make it that long, your resolve starts to wear thin and when Friday hits, it's back to "DSM". Wash, rinse, repeat.
Making diet and lifestyle changes is hard, especially if you have years of the "I'll do it tomorrow" attitude. Not only do we need some powerful motivation, but we also need the confidence it takes to make it happen. If one or two of those is off, real behavior change is doomed.
So how do we move those two markers of success in a positive direction? First, we need to find out what truly motivates us to make changes. Ask yourself, "Why is this important? What are my reasons for wanting to make this change? What might happen if I don't make this change?" Finding out your true reasons for making the change is a key start. But what do you do next to make lasting change?
This is where a health coach can be immensely helpful. From the Coaching Psychology Manual by Moore, Jackson and Tschannen-Moran, coaching is described as "a growth-promoting relationship that elicits autonomous motivation, increases the capacity to change, and facilitates a change process through visioning, goal setting, and accountability, which at its best leads to sustainable change for the good."
Below are five ways a health coach can help you realize the vision of health you create for yourself.
1. A HEALTH COACH IS A BEHAVIOR CHANGE SPECIALIST
A health coach specializes in behavior change and collaborates with you to lend support and empathy without judgement as you find your own strategies and motivation for change. Your coach will encourage you to mobilize your own insight, strengths, support and resources to help you make positive, sustainable changes for a higher level of well-being and performance in your life and work.
2. A COACH CELEBRATES THE EXPERT IN YOU
The coaching relationship is a partnership where creativity and thought provoking inquiry will inspire and support you to maximize your potential. The coach is not the expert in the relationship, rather they work alongside you to empower and encourage, so you can make the right choices for yourself. No one is more of an expert on your life than YOU! Have you ever had someone tell you what to do and suddenly you feel a bit resistant? When you come up with your own strategies that work within your circumstance, you are more likely to have success with that change.
3. A COACH HELPS FACILITATE YOUR VISION OF WELLNESS
At some point, you and your health coach will explore your "vision of wellness". If life is as good as it gets, what might that look like? How might your life be different if you were able to successfully make the changes you've been wanting? What do you value? What is important to you? You will explore all the beautiful experiences and qualities that make you unique, and create a vision of health and wellness that motivates and excites you.
4. COACHES CAN HELP KEEP YOU FOCUSED AS YOU PLAN OUT YOUR GOALS
Your health coach will listen attentively and carefully as you create 3-6 month goals for yourself that will ultimately get you closer to your wellness vision. With this roadmap in place, together you will break down your goals into smaller pieces and focus on each piece week by week. Through this process, you will explore your motivations and your resources. You'll leverage strengths and past successes as you commit to the changes you want to make. You'll get in touch with your values and beliefs and honor those as you create your plan. Your health coach will help you connect the dots between who you are and who you want to be.
5. A COACH CAN HELP KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE
In the beginning of any behavior change, accountability can be a big thing. Your health coach is there to support you as you make the changes you want. They will encourage, empower, and help keep you accountable. They will gently challenge you to venture just outside your comfort zone. They will be honest and open with you. And throughout the process, the coach will respect and honor your choices without judgement. Over time, you will find that you start finding your own ways of holding yourself accountable.
If you've been trying to make lifestyle changes but feel "stuck", maybe it's time to consider working with a health coach. You have everything you need within you to make change, but sometimes it helps to have someone unlock your superpowers, to respect you and your choices and to see you as whole, creative and resourceful. And what a powerful process this can be!
Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed with all the stuff that you have to do that you spin in your tracks and go nowhere instead of making progress? Welcome to my world. Sometimes I expend so much energy thinking about all the shiz I have to do and trying to figure out how to work it all in, that it ends up robbing me of the joy of being present and keeps me from getting anything done at all.
I started thinking about what it actually means to me to have a "good day" productivity wise while also honoring my health goals and personal needs. A little ME time ain't bad and sometimes we have to schedule that stuff in too. I realized that I like getting things done but I don't have to get it ALL done at once. Progress over perfection is my new mantra. To that end, I created a little rhyme regarding 4 of the categories that are important to me to feel good about my forward progress.
I was inspired by the rhyme brides often use on their wedding day to ensure good luck. They are supposed to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Along those lines, I came up with my own rhyme for improving my productivity without the stress, and it includes these four categories:
Do something HARD, something TRUE, something BUSY and something YOU.
Allow me to break these down.
Something hard: This can be anything that takes energy, that is out of your comfort zone, or something that pushes you. It might be writing in your journal, creating a blog post, or taking a class that is challenging. Maybe it's having a tough conversation with someone. It might be something that isn't necessarily hard, but requires diligence and brainpower. We all have those hard things we have to do in life that often get pushed to the bottom of the list simply because they are challenging and possibly uncomfortable. Acknowledge that it won't be fun and do it anyway.
Something true: This can be something that is true to you, something that honors a value that you hold dearly. Examples might include spending a little time on a goal you have made or on something you are trying to accomplish that requires dedicated time. Maybe it's a meditation practice or spending time with someone special. It's time you dedicate to invest in something that is important to you.
Something busy: We all have a lot of these things. Cleaning out a closet, writing thank you notes, paying bills, or doing the laundry. These might be day to day tasks that simply aren't that fun and feel like busy work. But they need to get done. Sometimes, I'll set a timer and say I'm going to do something for 20 minutes and then stop. What usually happens is that by the time the timer goes off, I'm in a mode and I finish up the project. But if I quit at 20, and I'm still not done, that's ok too. I made progress.
Something you: This can mean anything but typically involves some kind of self care. For me, it was taking a yoga class. It might be taking time to listen to your favorite podcast or going on a long walk with a friend. Whatever it is that you need, do that for yourself!
I've found that when I break down my work into these categories and earmark my time for each, I feel balanced and accomplished. And what a great way to make progress in your day!
Thanks for stopping by! Info here will help guide you on the path to better health. I'll share my passion about health, fitness, nutrition, and finding safer personal care products as well as cooking, gardening, and raising chickens. You want it, I got it. ~ Leeny