5 reasons why you’re so tired

Lately, I’ve been thinking that I should count how many times I hear the word “tired” in one day. It seems to be one of the most common complaints amongst people (myself included), and so instead of counting (which seems tedious), I have decided to find five reasons why we are all ‘so tired’. So here’s what I’ve come up with.

1) You are not getting enough sleep.

Okay this one is fairly obvious. In order to be as productive in one day as we possibly can, we tend to give up on a few hours of our much needed sleep. We’re up late, surfing the web and watching Netflix, or getting some last minute house chores done. Then, we follow that up with early mornings at the office. We push our bodies so hard everyday and a lot of times we forget that it needs to rest to remain energized. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep/night for adults.  So if you’re up at 6am to get ready for your workday, that means going to bed between 9-11pm.  There are some of us who can operate on more or less sleep than others, so it’s important to be aware of how much sleep your body needs to feel rested. Don’t jeopardize tomorrow by cramming too much into today. Make sure you are getting all the sleep you need.

2) You are not getting the nutrition you need.

Your body needs nutrients to operate properly and remain energized. If you’re constantly eating take-out and large meals, you’re going to feel bogged down. Foods that are high in sugar, processed, and high in fat, can actually cause you to feel tired and less motivated.  On top of that, when you eat three large meals a day, your body has to work hard to manage your blood sugar levels as they jump high and then drop low, which can contribute to fatigue. And if that’s not enough, if you’re skipping meals, this makes your blood sugar drop- a sure way to make you feel tired.  So make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need, on a consistent basis,  to feel energized. The quick stuff saves time now, but you’ll just be more sluggish later.

3) You are not getting enough exercise.

Our bodies were meant to move- and that’s a fact. Our caveman ancestors were very active; acquiring food, running from predators, setting up camp… so sitting at a desk for eight hours a day is hard on the body. You might be tired because your body hasn’t moved enough. Odd isn’t it? Getting a bit of exercise during your day will help you stay energized- as opposed to the notion that it will tire you out. Studies show that people who exercise regularly (even if just for 20 minutes, three times a week) feel more energized than those who spend eight hours at a desk sitting, then go home to sit on the couch, and then go to bed, five days a week. True story.

4) You are stressed out.

Whether you are stressed at home, stressed at work, or just stressed in general, you are going to feel it in the form of fatigue. Stress-relief is important to keep you energized, focused, motivated and healthy. Whenever you are stressed, make an effort to take at least 5-10 minutes  here and there to relax, recharge, and refocus. This can be done through deep breathing, calming music, aromatherapy, meditation, etc. The options are endless. Find what works for you, and do it. You’ll be perked up in no time.

5) You are struggling with time management.

Don’t you wish you had just a little more time? We are always chasing time, trying to cram as much as possible into our days and complaining that things still do not get done. We burn ourselves out and then get discouraged when there’s still  a ton of stuff to do. So instead of wishing for more time, get a daily planner. Organizing your time will ensure that everything gets done- with time to spare! You’ll be amazed at how much time you actually have once you’ve got your week mapped out. This way, you’ll prioritize your tasks and be able to truly relax when you have free time because you’ll know things will still get done. And if you’re needing a little help with this, I’ve been working on something that just might help you out.

 

Ditch the fatigue today. Make sure you are taking care of you, so you can take care of everything else.

4 signs that you might need a coach

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“How do I know if coaching would help me?” I’ve been asked this question several times, and I decided that I would put together a list that describes potential clients, to help people better ascertain whether or not coaching is for them. I hope you find it helpful!

1) You can’t seem to attain your goals

At first your pumped up and ready to exercise your way to a 6-pack. But as time goes on, your motivation slips, your excuses hold more and more merit and eventually, you convince yourself that it was just a silly dream. Sound familiar? One study found that only 8% of people actually achieve their new years resolution of getting fit. So how do that 8% do it? And why do the other 92% give up?  Having a coach on your side can ensure that you stay motivated, help you figure out strategies for the hurdles along the way and make you more aware of what’s really holding you back. So 6-pack, no problem. Your sculpted abs suddenly went from a silly dream, to a planned event!

2) You’ve got so many “To-Do’s” that you don’t know where to start

“Things I want to do; lose weight for Jane’s wedding, learn Spanish so I can understand the in-law’s, get good at volleyball so we can win the competition”…

If you’ve got a list of goals a mile long, that’s a good sign that you might need a coach. One common problem is that we often try to learn to many new things at once, overloading our brains and ensuring that we won’t be able to attain the goals that we set for ourselves. A coach can help you to prioritize your goals and help you to develop a realistic plan so that everything get’s done in easy to manage, simple steps.

3) You’ve got a goal, but not much time to get there

Want to save for a trip to Cuba with your college buds, but only have 4 months to do so? Having a strict deadline can put a lot of pressure on you. A coach can help you to brainstorm ideas, make a plan, and stay accountable and on track  to meet your deadlines. Although it’s always preferable to give yourself enough time to do things, we know life happens. And with hard work and dedication, it’s amazing the things you can do (even in a short time span!).

4) You’re drowning in negativity

As you shared your plans to run a 10K in a few months at the breakfast table, no one seemed to believe that you’d be achieving this goal. In fact, a few people laughed. This totally bummed you out. But you shouldn’t give up! Sometimes you just need someone in your corner to encourage you. Someone to say “Well of course you can. Let’s talk about how”. A coach can empower and motivate you to achieve your goals. So don’t let people’s reactions or comments deter you from your dreams; use them as fuel to jump-start your success. Your coach will always be there to cheer you on.

5 Ways to be respectful when interacting with someone who is disabled

Becoming disabled can have an effect on so many aspects of your everyday life. Watching my husband work through the triumphs and tribulations over the past several months has been an eye-opening experience. I’ve noticed things I never noticed before- like the way many people treat people with disabilities out in our communities and abroad. So today I would like to share with you 5 ways to be respectful when interacting with someone who is disabled. I don’t think many people intend to be disrespectful, but do so without even knowing. Here’s how you can help.

1) Don’t make assumptions

One of the worst things a person can do when interacting with someone who is disabled, is to make assumptions about their condition. We have had people assume my husband has an intellectual disability and that he cannot speak or make decisions, simply because he is in a wheelchair. They assume this before he has even spoken a word. Some people speak to him like a child, which is degrading to a 24 year-old. We would much rather that people ask respectful questions than to make assumptions. We are not ashamed of our story- go ahead and ask us about it. We’d much rather you understood. Although this isn’t the case for everyone, asking about the persons abilities in a tactful manner will help you to act appropriately and respectfully.

2) Speak with the person before condemning them

This one kind of goes along with the assumptions point. My husband has a brain injury- as a result, he has difficulties with attention and concentration. He also becomes physically and cognitively fatigued very quickly. If you do not know this, you might see him and label him as “lazy”. It certainly is easy to do. This makes it difficult for some people struggling with these types of disabilities to maintain social relationships or a job. Communication can help to identify the problem and brainstorm appropriate solutions. So I implore you- If you see someone struggling, ask them about it. Some disabilities are not as apparent as others. If my husband wasn’t in a wheelchair, you would not know just to look at him that he has a brain injury. So make sure you know the whole story before you condemn a person for not meeting your expectations.

3) Make eye contact with the person and give them time to speak

My husband has become quite shy in public. I have to push him to order food or ask questions because often people just immediately speak with me about him instead of speaking to him. Or, if they do speak to him, they notice immediately that he has a speech impairment, and instead of asking him to speak slower or repeat (which usually improves his speech ten fold), they’ll give up on him (which doesn’t do him any favors) and turn to me. Some people even talk over him! It breaks my heart. I can just imagine how bad that would feel if someone did that to me. So please, take a minute of your time to let the person have a voice. Sometimes an extra minute is all it takes.

4) Keep an open mind

There are many things that my husband cannot do the way other people do. But often times, it is just a matter of finding a different way of doing things. However, being out in public where the pace is “go go go” can often mean people simply dismiss us because we require a bit more creativity. I mean, it is much easier for them to say:” Nope, can’t help you. This is how we do things, and you can’t do that”. Which brings me to my next point: do not shut the person out because they cannot do something the conventional way. If you keep an open mind and think outside the box, you can usually find a safe solution. And it makes us feel valued as human beings for you to go the extra mile like that for us. There are many things we can do, if we are just given a chance.

5) Be patient

In our society today, everyone is hurrying to get from point A to point B, and no one ever seems to have enough time. I am so much more aware of this now than ever before. For me and my husband, it takes us twice as long to get around and do things with his physical and cognitive impairments. People hurry by us impatiently all the time, and we’ve often been the subject of irritated looks that they don’t think we see. Once, while traveling, we had a cab driver that was so irate at the “extra work” that we were to him (not that he bothered to help us out) that he practically threw the wheelchair at me once we’d reached our destination and slammed the door! I’ve never felt so hurt. It was completely inhumane. So I ask you to be patient when you interact with someone who is disabled. You may have to slow down for a few minutes, but we’ve had to slow down every minute of every day.

 

A little kindness goes a long way

Since my husband became disabled, it has become a reality for us that when we are out and about, we usually need extra assistance. It might be an extra hand to help him walk in areas that his wheelchair/walker can’t navigate, or it might be assistance at the airport to ensure that we make our flight on time, or it might be a few extra minutes getting in and out of a taxi. I’ve become hyper-aware of customer service, and the way people treat others in general, and I am especially appreciative when we get good customer service, let alone the rare moments when we get GREAT customer service. More often than not, we are met with irritation, frustration, disrespect and outright rudeness by employees who view us as “extra work” or “time wasted”.

Recently we took a trip to Australia (our own honeymoon adventure) and found transportation to be a  major issue in Sydney. Taxi drivers would refuse to take us, claiming that my husband’s wheelchair (which folds up) wouldn’t fit in the trunk. Now, I’m not very knowledgeable about cars, but when you are driving a station wagon, you’re being ridiculous if you think I don’t know that you’re lying. Not long after we arrived in Sydney, we had a cab driver do this, and I really didn’t feel like arguing, so I approached the taxi parked right behind. The second cab driver started yelling at me, telling me that the guy in front was lying about the wheelchair not fitting in the trunk. Thank you Mr. Loud & Obnoxious, I know that. What we needed was a ride. But did he take us? Nope. We were stuck and every cab driver was shaking his head. It was so ridiculous- there must have been 8-10 cabs all in a row, all of them refusing to drive us because we had a wheelchair in tow. My husband is perfectly capable of getting into a car, and his wheelchair folds up very well. I was so overwhelmed with hurt and dismay that I had to keep from bursting into tears. Luckily, a stranger overheard us and called the accessible taxi service for us. If she wouldn’t have shown us kindness, I don’t know what we would have done.

After I notified our hotel of this incident, they were very good at hailing taxis for us at the hotel and not asking, but telling the driver where he was taking us, therefore not giving them the chance to reject us (which I later found out, was against the law). One driver got so upset by this, that when we got to our destination, he threw the wheelchair at me, slammed the door, and watched coldly as I tried to put the chair together with my shaking hands (in a dress and heels), not offering assistance.

I asked myself  over and over; “How can someone treat another human being that way?” We’ve become so stressed, so irritated and frustrated by the littlest of things in our society that we are constantly taking out on the people we interact with during the day. Service with a smile, as well as manners, have become scarce. When I encounter disgruntled employees, I don’t blame the company. I blame the person, for not choosing to take pride in their work or themselves. I blame that person for not considering the feelings of others and what an impact their actions have on other people.

And so I challenge you to keep this in mind when you go to work everyday. Be approachable, friendly, and be kind. It’s nobody else’s fault if you are not happy, satisfied, or having a good day. Plus, you have no idea what kind of struggle other people around you might be experiencing…imagine if your poor attitude was the last straw that pushed someone over the edge?

 

Are you ready to get out of the rut?

 

 

Are you working to live, or living to work? I’m not just talking about your job here. Are you spending your days in a rut, doing the eat/sleep/work/clean/errand repeat cycle and dreaming of a more fulfilling life? What are you working so hard for? What is it you are truly seeking? Is it stuff?

Did you know that consumerism is the #1 happiness suppressant around the world ?

So if it’s stuff you’re working non-stop for, you might want to take a step back and think about how that’s been working for you so far.

Maybe it’s something you want to do?

If you are feeling stuck and longing to do something else (maybe a hobby, or a project?), then it’s time to break the pattern and do it! Want to get fit? Learn a language? Take a trip? Save more money? Whatever your goal may be, it’s time to challenge yourself and make it happen.

  • If it’s truly a passion, you will see it through.
  • If it inspires you, you will make time.
  • If you want it bad enough, it will not feel like a chore. 

Why is this so important? Because our happiness is important. Because more and more people are succumbing to stress, burnout and depression.

In fact, major depression will be the world’s second most debilitating disorder by 2020, according to the World Health Organization (um, that’s in like 4 years from now!) 

We should be focusing on our happiness. We should be figuring out what we truly want out of life. There’s a reason there are so many unhappy people out there- we don’t know what we want, and we don’t appreciate what we’ve got. It’s time to stop putting aspirations on the back burner and stop assuming that we’ve got all the time in the world. No one is guaranteed more time in this life.

So let me ask you this: If you were to die tomorrow, would you be satisfied with your life so far? Would you say: “Yes, I did everything I wanted to do” ? If so, then congrats, that’s awesome! If not, then it is time for some personal reflection. I’m not saying you should abandon your loved ones, or your responsibilities, but please, just get off candy crush and do the things you really WANT to do.  It’s all about committing to people and causes that inspire you. And when you set the right goals, you’ll see it’s easier than you think.

So today, I challenge you to do the following:

  1. Take 10  minutes of alone time (quiet time)
  2. Think about what your priorities are- what matters to you ? What is necessary for your happiness? What are your ultimate life goals?
  3. Ask yourself, what are you doing today, that is working towards those priorities? Your goals? Your dreams?
  4. Decide- what are you going to do today, to make your life better? To make the lives of your loved ones better? To be a better person? To be a happier person? To be a healthier person?
  5. Do.

It’s time to start creating the life you really want to live. I would love to help you with this. If you’d like to learn more, then let’s chat!

“Tomorrow is only found in the calendar of fools”- Og Mandino