Monthly Archives: April 2020
How to Develop an Optimistic Outlook
It’s hard to have an optimistic outlook with everything going on in the world. Learning to see the glass half full can take practice, and some of us naturally have a sunnier outlook than others. However, becoming an optimist can have benefits. Research suggests that optimists have better relationships and may live longer. In addition, the health benefits of practicing gratitude are extensive.
Here are 3 easy practices to help develop and optimistic outlook
- Visualize Your Ideal Feature. Imagine your dream life 10 years from now, and write it down. While this might sound like wishful thinking, imagining your dream future can boost your current levels of optimism and steer you away from thinking about the worst possible outcome. Try this once or twice a week for the next few months.
- Talk to Yourself. Yes, talking to yourself can be positive! The next time those negative voices in your head tell you that you are bad at something, imagine yourself as a child, or imagine any child. Imagine how you would respond to a child, and what you would say to encourage that child. You probably would not talk to a child so negatively. How can you reframe your failures and start talking to yourself with kindness?
- Put Things in Perspective. If you have a tendency to jump to the most extreme thought, you most likely end up thinking negative thoughts. Start to balance this out with extremely positive thoughts. If you normally think after making a small mistake at work that you will be fired, the next time it happens, imagine that your mistake pointed out a significant issue at your company and you are rewarded with a huge promotion. If the positive thought seems completely ridiculous to you, you can imagine that the negative one might be as well.
Looking for more small steps to make big changes? At KareBoost Health, our goal is to help you live a healthy life that is accessible and enjoyable for you. Contact us to find out more!
Karen L Leibowitz, MD
Health and Lifestyle Coach
Emotional Eating: 3 Ways to Stay on Track
Let’s look at emotional eating. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many changes for much of society. Many of us are now working from home or uncertain about jobs and school. You may also be homeschooling and under additional pressures. This anxiety and change in routine can lead many of us to feel out of control and prone to emotional eating. We may be eating more or differently than normal, and not listening to body cues as well.
Here are 3 tips to keep emotional eating in check
- Establish a Routine. Just like you would at work, try to establish a routine at home. Getting up at your usual time and preparing a good breakfast sets you up for success. Try to have a breakfast with fiber and protein, such as oatmeal with fruit or an egg white omelet with veggies and whole wheat toast. Have lunch and dinner around your usual time as well. Establishing a regular meal routine for you and your family will reduce the desire to snack and also help you to become aware of when you are actually hungry.
- Have Fun in the Kitchen. With so many of us staying at home, you may find yourself with more time on your hands. Why not spend that time in the kitchen? Perhaps you have recipes saved that you have wanted to try for a long time- now is the perfect time to try something new. If you normally eat out, try cooking restaurant favorites at home. Turn dinner into family time by involving kids in the cooking process with age-appropriate tasks. Enjoying wholesome meals that you have cooked yourself is a wonderful way to celebrate food and family while knowing exactly what went into your food.
- Be Gentle. If you find yourself anxious and unable to maintain your normal good habits, practice self-compassion. This is a very difficult time for many of us and know that having a healthy lifestyle is a life-long process, not a 30-day goal. There will be ups and downs, and an occasional treat or indulgence does not mean you have failed. If you find yourself craving childhood favorites or comfort food, try having a well-rounded meal first and then something nice for dessert. You could also try the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your diet is healthy foods, and 20% is for any other foods you enjoy. Be flexible and forgiving to yourself.
At KareBoost Health, we are here to support you during this time. Try a virtual yoga class to reduce stress and add in movement to your day. Your first class with us is free!
Karen L Leibowitz, MD
Health and Lifestyle Coach
3 Steps to Manage Stress
Do you mange stress well? Part of any healthy lifestyle is mental well-being. Eating well and moving are excellent for your physical health and can also play a part in increasing mental health. If stress is keeping you from feeling your emotional and physical best, know that you can learn to manage and reduce it. Here are 3 ways to get started.
3 Steps to Manage Stress
- Prepare. We all have stress and it is impossible to completely eliminate it. However, having a plan for managing your stress is crucial. Think about ways you can actively reduce what stresses you. If mornings are stressful, try waking up 5-10 minutes early to give yourself more time. If your commute stresses you out, find a podcast you enjoy or a good book to help you pass the time. Look for small ways to make stressful activities less stressful.
- Think Positive. We all talk to ourselves, and self-talk can be positive or negative. Negative self-talk can increase stress, so why not try some positive self-talk? The next time you encounter negative self-talk, try shifting to positive talk. Instead of thinking, “I can’t do this”, try “I’ll do the best I can”. Notice how you feel as you start to change the way you talk to yourself.
- Increase Enjoyment. Make sure your week includes activities you actively enjoy. Plan to take a yoga class over the weekend, giving yourself something to look forward to all week. Spend 10 minutes with your favorite book or listening to music. A quick walk around the block can have an excellent effect on your mindset. You might consider making a list of things to do that you enjoy. When you have a particularly stressful day, pull out your list and do one activity on it.
At KareBoost Health, we believe in working with you as a whole person. Set up a free consultation to see how we can help you manage stress and be a healthier you or come in for yoga to reduce stress!
Karen L. Leibowitz, MD
Health and Medical Coach
How to Celebrate While Practicing Social Distancing
Let’s look at how to celebrate while practicing social distancing. For many of us, the arrival of spring brings holidays such as Easter and Passover. Traditionally, we may gather with family to celebrate over a meal and festivities. This year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, your normal celebrations may be put on hold. It is very important to maintain social distancing, even during the holidays. Protect everyone in your family by staying in and continuing to practice social distancing.
Here are 3 ways to celebrate while practicing social distancing
- Celebrate Virtually. Luckily, we live in a time of ever-expanding technology and innovation. Look into an app that can help you set up a virtual celebration. A video conferencing app will allow everyone in your family to see each other. You could agree on a shared menu and cook the same foods to enjoy “together”. Consider decorating your space- it will look nice on camera, but also lend that same sense of celebration to your day.
- Create Your Own Traditions. Use this time as an opportunity to create your own holiday traditions. Be creative- traditions do not have to be material. This would be a great time to create a family game, come up with a new recipe, or write down memories from your day. Perhaps starting a family scrapbook or journal would be not only a good creative outlet but also a way to keep traditions alive in the future.
- Give Back. Holidays can be a time of both celebration and reflection. Many of us are facing real difficulties right now. Perhaps you elect to rest and relax during this holiday- taking the time for self-care is valuable. Do not put excess pressure on yourself to create the perfect meal or holiday. If you are able to, consider doing something this holiday for someone who may be struggling. There are still safe ways to give back. You could call someone you know who Is alone for the holiday, or order groceries delivered to a local food bank or charity.
At KareBoost Health, we are here to support you mentally and physically through this time. Check out our schedule to register for virtual yoga and keep reading our blog for more creative ideas.
Karen L Leibowitz, MD
How to Build Resilience Right Now
Let’s look at how you can build resilience. Resiliency is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. Having a well of resilience to draw from can make a huge difference to your mental and physical health, especially during tough times like these. The good news is resiliency, like any muscle, can be made stronger.
Here are 3 tips to build resilience right now, even while it may be social-distancing, working from home, or struggling with other effects of the Covid-19 crisis.
1. Find Purpose
Finding a sense of purpose can be especially difficult right now, especially if you are not able to work from home or struggling with an entirely new schedule. Remember that your sense of purpose does not have to change the world right now, it just has to give you a reason to get up and get going. Set a small goal for yourself every day, even if it’s a 30-minute walk around the block or finishing a huge puzzle. Your sense of purpose could also come from helping someone in need. There are plenty of ways to help while socially distancing, such as reaching out to a friend or neighbor who lives alone.
Yes, it might seem that now is not the time to form connections. However, strong social connections are an important factor in building resilience. Reaching out to others for help, and helping others, leads to stronger mental health. You can do this right now- pick up the phone and call a friend. Maybe now is the time to reach out to a friend or family member you have not spoken with in a while. Consider using technology like FaceTime or Skype to feel a more “in-person” connection.
3. Embrace Change
An important factor in getting and keeping more resilience is knowing what you can and cannot change. There is a lot right now that we do not have control over, like working from home or kids’ home school schedules. There are also many unknowns. This can feel overwhelming. Instead of focusing on what you cannot change, think about what you can. Maybe you can make your workspace at home more comfortable, and perhaps you can make a delicious dinner with your family tonight. Focus on the moment, or at least the next 24 hours.
If you need more support, we are here for you during this time. Schedule a Virtual yoga private lesson to learn relaxation techniques and keep moving or sign up for one of our Virtual classes.
Karen L Leibowitz