Tag Archives: Work/Life Balance

Your Healthy Holiday Reading Guide

A good book can make things a whole lot cozier while you’re relaxing by the fire with a warm cup of cocoa. Enjoyable reading can also help pass the time as you travel back and forth between family and friends over the holidays. The 12 books on this list cover a range of health and wellness topics (Healing, Lifestyle Choices, Spiritual Reflection, Relationships, Attitude, and Workplace Satisfaction), and they have all been vetted by yours truly. Each of these books has impacted my life in a profound way. I believe that whichever one speaks to you is worth investing a little time in. Give yourself the gift of some soul-searching and/or nuturing this season. These books are sure to do the trick. Healthy Holiday Reading

 


*Healing*

Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can

“Both visionary and practical, Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can presents a bold new account of the development of human consciousness and spirituality over the ages, and examines the dynamic global transformation of attitudes about healing. To help you get and stay on the path to wellness, Dr. Myss provides rituals and prayers for gaining a symbolic perspective on your life issues; for bolstering your personal power; and for connecting with a universal divine energy. Dr. Myss’s breakthrough views on energy medicine and her active approach to healing life issues and physical illness will help you overcome the mental blocks that keep you from becoming well.”

The Language of Letting Go

“Melody Beattie integrates her own life experiences and fundamental recovery reflections in this unique daily meditation book written especially for those of us who struggle with the issue of codependency.

Problems are made to be solved, Melody reminds us, and the best thing we can do is take responsibility for our own pain and self-care. In this daily inspirational book, Melody provides us with a thought to guide us through the day and she encourages us to remember that each day is an opportunity for growth and renewal.”

 


*Lifestyle Choices*

The Power of Habit

“In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.”

Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss

“For many, losing weight is a never-ending struggle, especially since our bodies are designed to keep weight on at all costs; it’s a matter of survival. But a medical revolution is under way, showing us how to work with our bodies instead of against them to improve nutrition and ignite the natural fat-burning furnaces that lie dormant within us.

Drawing on cutting-edge research about nutrigenomics—the science of how food talks to our genes—Dr. Hyman, author of bestsellers including The Blood Sugar Solution, The Ultra-Mind Solution, UltraPrevention, and The UltraSimple Diet has created a method for losing weight by eating the right foods to detox and manage food allergies.”

 


*Spiritual Reflection*

Proof of Heaven

“Dr. Alexander’s brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back. Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle.

Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.”

The God-First Life; Uncomplicate Your Life, God’s Way

“There are thousands of how-to books for improving various areas of life―self, relationships, finances, fitness, business, marriage, family. And there are nearly as many books written for believers offering a framework for the “right” approach to a new life in God.

In The God-First Life, Weems shows that true success in our walk with God and in life in general is not an issue of need, but an issue of order. Brilliantly unpacking the simple Scripture in Matthew 6:33, Weems gives a fresh and practical perspective on what Christian “discipleship” is about. Bringing clarity, depth, and simplicity, Pastor Weems makes clear core truths that have been misunderstood by many Christians and non-Christians alike.”

 


*Relationships*

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

“Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?

In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.”

The 4 Seasons of Marriage

“Spring, summer, winter, fall. Marriages are perpetually in a state of transition, continually moving from one season to another―perhaps not annually, as in nature, but just as certainly and consistently. Sometimes we find ourselves in winter―discouraged, detached, and dissatisfied; other times, we experience springtime with its openness, hope, and anticipation. On other occasions, we bask in the warmth of summer―comfortable, relaxed, enjoying life. And then comes fall with its uncertainty, negligence, and apprehension. The cycle repeats itself many times throughout the life of a marriage, just as the seasons repeat themselves in nature.
The seasons of marriage come and go. Each one holds the potential for emotional health and happiness, and each one has its challenges. The purpose of this book is to describe these recurring seasons of marriage, help you and your spouse identify which season your marriage is in, and show you how to enhance your marriage in all four seasons.”

 


*Attitude*

Choose Your Attitude, Change Your Life

“You’ve heard the expression, “Attitude is everything.” But can a positive mental attitude make all that much difference in your personal and professional life? Deborah Smith Pegues, author of the bestselling 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, believes strongly that it can.

In Choose Your Attitude, Change Your Life, Deborah explores the root causes of 30 negative attitudes, their impact on your life and relationships, and how you can learn to think positively instead. As a result, she helps you recognize and conquer counterproductive behaviors, such as criticizing the choices others make, being inflexible, and being indifferent to the needs of others.”

Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change

“Is it possible to live well when the very ground we stand on is shaky? Yes, says everyone’s favorite Buddhist nun, it’s even possible to live beautifully, compassionately, and happily on shaky ground–the secret being that the ground is always shaky beneath us, and everyone who has ever learned to be happy has done so with that understanding. Pema Chödrön presents a simple Buddhist practice that we can use to commit ourselves to a life of profound sanity, even when it seems like there’s only nonsanity all around us. Using this practice, called the Three Commitments, can really change things.”

 


*Workplace Inspiration*

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

“Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.”

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

“Mark Twain once observed, ‘A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.’ His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas–business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others– struggle to make their ideas ‘stick.’

Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures)– the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of ‘the Mother Teresa Effect’; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice. Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas–and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.”


Wishing you a physically, mentally and spirutually healthy season! Happy reading!

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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The Heart of a Woman

It warms my heart to say that WellnessWinz is officially one year old! Thanks to your support and continued readership, WellnessWinz has successfully published over 60 articles that…get this…have reached women in 112 countries to date!!!!!!!!! (Sorry, that deserved a lot of exclamation points.) Reaching this milestone has caused me to take pause and evaluate whether or not we, as women, are any further than we were a year ago. Are we? It’s an individual answer and one that I encourage you to explore for yourself. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the heart of a woman. What does she need most? What motivates her? What holds her back?

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According to research, women may be just as prone to cardiovascular disease (i.e., heart disease) as men, but, for different reasons. Women’s heart disease has been increasingly associated with psychosocial factors. In short, this means that risk factors such as depression, anxiety, exhaustion/fatigue, lack of social support, and stress can all threaten our health.

I don’t know about you, but this upsets me. It’s also another thread in the fabric of life which proves that the mind and body are connected. Our mental health impacts our physical health, and vice versa. Most of us understand this, but, does knowing convert to “doing?” Studies show it doesn’t

The number one thing that women claim hinders them from “ideal health” is not cost, time, convenience, or their body weight (although those are high on the list), it’s self-motivation. Raising your eyebrows or, perhaps, nodding your head? Personally, when I first learned of this, I was stumped. While it makes perfect sense that only a desire from within can compel someone to take action for their health, it also confused me because of how many women tell me they are working towards improving their health.

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Why the discrepancy between what women are telling others and how they feel? Well, I can’t claim to know the full answer, especially as it may vary from woman to woman, but I can tell you my number one hypothesis. This is merely my opinion, but I think that a big part of optimal long-term health is about opening up our hearts instead of working to protect them.

I have worked with lots of people in the exercise setting who were restricted in their movements due to fear. Some feared reinjury while others feared trusting another person with their body. Ironically, those who feared injury often put themselves at greater risk by not moving as their bodies naturally desired to. The incredible thing though was that as soon as each of these people opened themselves up and began to trust, it was like the whole world unfolded before them. I witnessed people transform their bodies, careers and love lives all at once after shedding layers of defensiveness and self-protection. Oftentimes, they credited personal training for their newfound physical confidence…I, on the other hand, strongly believe it was because of them opening up their hearts.

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If you have been with me in this blog journey since this time last year then you may remember my very first post: “So much to do, so little time”. In this article, I mention polling women about their top health and fitness needs. Do you remember what was number one?! 2/3 of women said they need help managing stress. If you want to see the three tips I suggested for stress reduction, simply click-through and read on!

So, now we are here…one year later, and I ask you two very important questions:

What are you doing to reduce stress?

…and…

How can you open up your heart?

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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The 6 Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness has six dimensions, and although this blog has so far provided more information about the physical dimension, the other five are just as important.

Before jumping into what other dimensions make up what I call the “wellness wheel,” it’s important for us to understand how the wheel works…

All six dimensions of wellness exist in equilibrium, like spokes coming out from the center of a wheel. If one spoke is too short and another is too long, the wheel won’t roll smoothly down the road. Each dimension is ideally balanced out by another, creating harmony and smooth movement for the wheel. This balanced lifestyle has been called, by some spiritual leaders, the “whole life.”

While this sounds lovely, like butterflies, rainbows and flowers, it’s more than just idyllic. It’s a naturally occurring ebb and flow within our lives. Physical, emotional, social, occupational, intellectual, and spiritual wellness work concurrently to satisfy us. One is not more important than another.

I was actually shocked to hear Pastor David Stine, a spiritual leader in the DC metro region, say that being overly focused on being spiritual, at the cost of our physical health (and/or other components of wellness), can become just as unhealthy for us as not being spiritual at all. Yes, it’s true. A faith leader actually said this. His congregation responded with cheers and gasps of surprise. This demonstrates the power of living in wellness.

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Take the following examples of people who are having a hard time growing and/or who are living one-dimensionally…Maybe you can relate to one of these?!

Out of Balance

Julie works incredibly hard as a consultant. Approximately several times a year she will go through a 4-6 week long period where she doesn’t sleep more than 5-6 hours each night and forgoes the gym to work extended hours at the office. She usually takes Saturday nights off during this time and likes to go out for a handful of strong cocktails with friends, anxious to let go of some tension. On Sundays, she wakes up tired but she slugs down some coffee and gets back to work. After the 4-6 week period is done, she goes into overdrive at the gym, to make up for not working out. Julie tries to put in 1.5-2 hours each workout during this time but usually quits the gym entirely after 2-3 weeks because work starts to get busy again.

Dimension Stagnation

Martha has a stable job working for a tech company. She gets to work reasonable hours and can count on getting home to her family in time to cook dinner, put the kids to bed, and have a little personal time with her husband. Her family is financially comfortable and has a great network of neighbors and friends to keep them busy and happy. But, Martha just can’t understand why she feels so depressed since everything in her life seems picture perfect. The only thing she can think of is that she hasn’t been stimulated at work in over 3 years and can no longer imagine growing within her company. Every time she thinks about starting the job hunt she gets anxious but every time she looks around her office she feels underutilized.

One-Dimensional Focus

Last year, Brittany set a goal of losing 50 lbs because she was unhappy with her body. She went from hating the gym to waking up extra early to attend fitness classes and work out. A little over halfway through the year she has already surpassed her weight loss goal. She feels so empowered that she has decided to keep the ball rolling. She will try to lose another 25 lbs in the next three months even though she has reached a healthy weight. Her boyfriend has told her that she is beautiful how she is but every time Brittany hears this she rolls her eyes. She doesn’t want to go out for date nights anymore, fearing food at restaurants where she is unsure of the calorie count. Brittany’s friends also can’t convince her to go to brunch, or even to attend church together, because she says it will cut into her gym schedule. She has started arriving 15 minutes late to work because she wants to fit in extra cardio in the mornings and she often leaves work a little early to hit the gym again. Her boss notices that her job performance is deteriorating and her boyfriend is on the verge of breaking up with her.

Do any of these women sound like someone you’ve known?

Do any of them sound like you?

6 dimensions of wellness

 

I’m not saying we haven’t all “been there” because of course we have! We may have walked in similar shoes as Julie, Martha or Brittany, or our “wellness wheel” may have been dysfunctional due to other factors. Living in balance is NOT easy; however, living in balance is a worthy goal.

If this seems challenging and elusive to you, you’re not alone. Pursuing self-improvement in each dimension at once is admirable but also darn near impossible. We’re never going to be “perfect” but we can definitely strive to improve and become self-aware. We can challenge ourselves to balance out work and life. We can work to grow spiritually while also becoming socially vibrant. We can juggle our emotional worlds even when they are juxtaposed to our mental realities. The desire to grow, even if it means a little back-sliding and upheaval, is the ultimate catalyst for achieving satisfaction in the deepest parts of ourselves.

And so, we will season the content of this blog by sprinkling in wellness topics, interviews, and discussions. By touching on each of the six dimensions over time, we will grow ourselves and the women around us. I hope you’re as excited for the journey as I am.

PS – To show how dedicated I am to opening up these transparent discussions about women’s fitness and wellness, I will be sharing a personal story about emotional wellness very soon.

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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References:

http://www.dcmetro.org/media/sermons/a-life-lived-whole/video/