Easy Celebrations for Summer Enjoyment

Easy Celebrations for Summer Enjoyment

How and when do you take time to celebrate in your family?  I know growing up we celebrated birthdays and family.  Mom took time for me to invite friends over for my birthday.  I have fond visual memories of friends around our dining room table, eating cake!  We also would gathered for family birthdays.  I remember gathering in March as my grandparents, myself and my cousin all had birthdays in March.  I still remember those yummy meals together- chicken and dumplings – yum!.  In summer, we would all gather for family reunions to celebrate being related to people I didn’t know, ha! Again the theme of food was popular. My grandpa would pile his plate so high he had to hold the top of it to keep food from falling off.

Funny how food is often associated with celebrations.  We eat at weddings, birthdays, and graduations.  There is something celebratory and connecting about eating good food together.  I think sights, sounds and smells of food easily bring back celebratory memories..

 

How do you celebrate?

What about you?  Do you take time to celebrate together?  Summer is a great time to celebrate together.  The word celebrate means two similar, yet different things:

  1. to honor (an occasion, such as a holiday) especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business  to celebrate Memorial Day
  2. to mark (something, such as an anniversary) by festivities or other deviation from routine celebrated their 25th anniversary

Throughout the summer, we have the opportunity to do both.  Summer is usually kicked off by Memorial Day, an occasion to honor and remember our servicemen who lost their lives by serving their country.  We honor their service to this country.  This past Memorial Day, I saw lots of pictures posted on Facebook of different people’s relatives who had served.

 

Honor and celebrate family history

It reminded me of the opportunity during the summer to honor and celebrate our family histories.  How many of our children and grandchildren know of relatives who served in different ways for our country?  For example, I have both a grandfather (he was 64 and my grandmother 29 when they married) and a great grandfather who served in the Civil War.  My husband, Jim, is a veteran and my uncle Harvey served in WWII as well as my father-in-law, Chet who is still living.  Those are people to honor and celebrate.  What stories are in your family that you can honor and celebrate?  Family histories are ones to gather, celebrate and tell your children and grandchildren. Family Search.org is a great place to start for free genealogical research.  Watch out though, you might get the family history bug!!

 

Mark something special

In addition to honoring being a way to celebrate, marking something special with festivities is another way to celebrate.  Traditionally we think of births, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and graduations as things to celebrate and they certainly are things to mark with festivities.

What would happen though, if you began to look for other ways to celebrate your life?  What if each week there could be something you looked forward to celebrating?  What if in the summer you had a festival or other deviation from the routine and celebrated life?

 

Capture a celebratory joyful summer moment

I am suggesting that summer is the perfect time to enjoy a celebratory lifestyle and find joy in the present. Brain research shows that engaging in present moment practices brings calm and joy. Celebrations that engage you in the present moment are one way to practice that joy.  When you think of celebration, you may think of activity, yet celebration may be one of celebrating yourself with a day away doing exactly what you need to be joyful and healthy for yourself. What might that look like for you?

Other celebrations could include setting aside a day and calling it something – Cousin Day, Movie Day, Pajama Day, Beach Day, whatever you and your family decided was essential.  By giving it a name, making a plan and circling it on your calendar, you turn it into more of a celebration- something that deviates from the routine.

In my 23 Easy Celebrations for Summer checklist, you’ll find a variety of ways to celebrate and enjoy summer for the introverts –  people who like more solitary activities to the extroverts- people who thrive on larger crowds and busier activities.  I think you’ll find something for everyone in your family.  The checklist includes things like hiking, picnicking, having a backyard camp out, and interviewing your family members about what they remember of life as a child in the summer.

 

Once you have the list, you can sit down with your family and determine what and when you might like to celebrate summer. The list may even generate more ideas of your own.  Remember to celebrate is a time to mark festivities.  And what better time than summer to celebrate family time as festive?.

Hope you can get out and enjoy this summer.  I know you will build good social bonds, strong memories, and best of all fun, which is great for your brain and your family! Celebrate your summer and share on the Nancy Booth Coaching facebook page.  We can encourage a joyful summer for each other and share ideas.

 

 Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world..  She writes about taming the overwhelm. looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you to find that new vision!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm.  It’s time to explore possibilities of a new vision to include stronger relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

3 More Questions to a Better You!

3 More Questions to a Better You!

What would it take to be a better you? As I continue to talk to women about wellbeing, I know how hard it is to put new habits into place.  One friend I was talking to realized she could give herself more energy management.  After a busy weekend of speaking and traveling, she allowed herself a day of down time.  Before, she would have kept plowing through, to the detriment of her health.  What are you beginning to notice?

We talked last week about social, physical and career/purpose wellbeing.  This week, let’s look at  financial, community and spiritual wellbeing. Let the following questions guide your vision of a healthier you!

Financial Wellbeing- ­­How content are you as you spend your money?

Interestingly enough, money doesn’t buy wellbeing although it is needed to have enough for food, shelter, transportation- the basics. Without those basics, finances can be stressful.  After basics are met, the positives of money come from being able to spend it on others.  Studies show that spending it on experiences and creating memories also have a lasting effect on your well-being, rather than on material things.

What is your financial outlook?  Where are you on the financial scale,1-10 (with 10 being easy-peasy to give away) of spending money on others?  What about on experiences?  What visions and intentions do you want to foster for your financial wellbeing?

Community Wellbeing- How well do you like and are involved in your community?

Community has to do with where you live and play.  Do you feel safe in your community?  How active are you in your community?  Attachments to a community are first based on security, then personality, family, interests and personal pursuits.  For my husband and I, we chose the Madison, WI area because of the university, availability of work, the beauty and the friendly Midwest culture. What made you choose the community you now live in?

After living in the city for 26 years, we ended moving to a beautiful, oak grove outside of Madison.  I was suffering from daily headaches at the time and needed the quiet.  The older I got, the louder the interstate traffic got near our home in the city.  We made an intentional choice for our well-being. What a difference the beauty and the quiet have made for both of us! What community changes may you need or want to make for your well-being?

Spiritual Wellbeing – What spiritual practices can connect you to better health?

According to research being done at the University of Minnesota, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates spiritual practices are associated with better health and wellbeing.

One of the major ways to spiritual wellbeing considered are contemplative practices, those practices that guide you to a specific focus, often an inward-looking reflection or concept.  These contemplative practices are shown to increase compassion, empathy, and attention as well as quiet the mind.

Some of these contemplative practices include:

  • Mindful meditation, in which you take time to focus on your breathing has shown to induce feelings of calm and clear-headedness as well as improve concentration and attention.
  • Prayer, a belief that there is a higher power that has a level of influence over your life, can provide a relaxation response as well as feelings of hope, gratitude and compassion. People who believed God was at work in their health and wellbeing responded to better to treatment more than those who did not.
  • Journaling, considered a contemplative practice in that it helps you become more aware of your inner life and get connected to the thoughts swirling in your head. By placing your thoughts on paper, you have the opportunity to make meaning out of what is going on in your life.

For me, this has been my greatest area of growth for my health.  By taking the time to pray, reflect and quiet my mind daily, I have been restored to hope, joy and contentment.  I have a more healthy mind, released from the anxiety and depression I experienced early and I am grateful.

What is your vision of wellbeing?

From these last two blogs, how do you begin to envision and create your own pathway to a life of better wellbeing?

Social – Who do you spend time with every day?

Physical – What choices do you make every day?

Career/Purpose- Do you like what you do each day?

Finances – How content are you with how you spend your money?

Community – How well do you like your community and how involved are you?

Spiritual – What spiritual practices are connecting you to better health?

A vision board helps you visualize a preferred future in each of these areas.  Scientific studies reveal that when you visualize an action, you stimulate the same brain regions as when you actually perform that action.

One athletic study proved that visualization enabled nationally ranked gymnasts to execute several complex tricks for the first time. Visualization has also been shown to improve high jumpers clearing the bar!

In other words, your brain can be trained to create outcomes you most want.

So, begin to gather those visions in each area.  Join me and other women April 1st for a day long retreat in the Stoughton, WI area and invest in a day for yourself to create your well-being vision.  Check out the details on my facebook page and contact me for more details.  Now is the time to set your vision and intentions to move forward on your wellbeing.  You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

Find Hope and Vision for 2017

Find Hope and Vision for 2017

This time of year, many of our thoughts turn to a new page  for 2017.  Everywhere I turn, I see lots of ideas for making 2017 the best year yet.  What is it about the new year that inspires us to think fresh thoughts or vision?  Is it the blank calendar in front of us?  Is it that hope springs eternal? Or is it one more month to mark the years speeding by, the things we didn’t get done in 2016?  Or the disappointments, losses and worries we may carry with us into the new year?  Where are you on the continuum?

I have been absent from your in box for awhile.  At the end of 2015, I retired due to health issues, mostly anxiety and depression.  I wasn’t at all sure what 2016 would bring.  Thankfully, I am back to health, writing and coaching!

What has made the difference?  How can what I’ve learned perhaps make a difference for you?  Here are 3 things that I have experienced lately may also help you find hope for 2017.

Listening to God

I began to listen more closely to God this fall.  No revelations or anything especially spiritual beyond developing a closer relationship with Him.  He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14.  When I operate in that belief system, I know I am loved and have gained confidence to move forward in other areas of my life.  What are your experiences of listening?

Dreams, Desires and Longings

I then, began to dream of how I might create a safe space for women to discover their own vision, possibilities and passion for life that I was beginning to experience again.

A significant part of that dream came into focus by going on a week’s vacation with a good friend of mine.sharon-and-i  We toured the western coast of Lake Michigan, went to her 50th class reunion and visited her old home place, among other childhood haunts.  What was significant to me was the realization of how important women’s friendships are and the support and connections that women can give to each other – sisterhood if you will.  Each of us need to find those women who love us unconditionally, create a safe space for us to be ourselves and an opportunity to explore our heart and passions.

Vision

I discovered I wanted to bring like-minded women together who were in search of dreams, vision and a change.  By creating a safe space and setting aside some time together, we could listen to God, hear the desires and longings of our hearts and begin to build that community of sisters, that fostered hope.

I am so excited for 2017.   One way we’ll explore fostering community is through a vision board workshop process which will be a way to bring like-minded women together around their desires and longings and starting a journey together.

A vision board helps us “see” what dreams God has put on our hearts and by doing so, we begin to “see” more the opportunities God puts in front of us.  The visuals alert our brains more, much like when we buy a different car, we begin to see that car everywhere.

Once we have our vision, know our desires and longings, then we can work together in community to set our goals and action steps for each month as well as look at any beliefs that may pop up that interfere with our forward progress.

If this idea of a vision board excites you and you are ready for a change, then contact me.  I have a vision board workshop coming up in January 21st and then we’ll move forward together from there.

Contact Me!

This is your year to “clear out the gunk” in your life. Having a community of women working together in small groups or even one on one coaching can be powerful ways to hope.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

5 Questions to Check on Your Own Wellbeing

With the end of summer approaching, it is a good time to reflect on your own state of health and well-being.  Fall tends to bring its own busyness and the end of summer can be a time to take a little reflection time to check in with your mind, body and soul to determine what is the state of my wellbeing?

Much research and print these days is dedicated to your happiness and health.  Wellbeing isn’t just about being happy, or wealthy or physically fit. In the research that Gallup has done, they have researched people across 150 countries and found five interconnected elements that shape our lives: Career Wellbeing, Sociall Wellbeing, Financial Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing, and Community Wellbeing.  In the book, Wellbeing, The Five Essential Elements, Tom Rath and Jim Harter give you insights behind the research and ways to incorporate the research into your daily life.  As a life coach focused on self-care, I am intensely interested in your wellbeing.   How can we work together to identify your own thriving wellbeing?

Career Wellbeing  – Do you like what you do each day?

In thinking about your work or career, the basic question is, Do you like what you do each day?   We spend the majority of our waking hours at what we consider our job, work or career.  In Jeff Goins, The Art of Work, he envisions work as more of a “passion-fueled calling that makes each day an exciting adventure.”   How are using your strengths on a daily basis?  Where are you on a scale of 1-10 with ten being madly in love with what you do?  Your career greatly impacts your health, your thinking, your emotions and your outlook on life.

Social Wellbeing- Who do you spend time with?

Research shows that our social networks matter.  Family, friends, community associations and co-workers have a big impact on whether we have a good day or a bad day.  Positive social interaction increases our positive emotions of love, peace, joy and interests.  Data suggests we need six hours of positive interaction a day!  This can be on the phone, with co-workers, emailing and other communications.  Even three hours of positive interaction reduces the odds of a bad day to 10%.  How do you choose your social network, finding friends and time with family?  Rate your social network on a scale of 1-10.  Think about ways you can strengthen your social network, such as people around your friendship table.

Financial Wellbeing- ­­How do you spend your money?

Interestingly enough, money doesn’t buy wellbeing although it is needed to have enough for basics of food, shelter, transportation, etc.  After basics are met, the positives of money came from being able to spend it on others as well as being able to spend it on experiences and creating memories, rather than on things.  What about you?  Where are you on the financial scale – 1-10 of spending money on others?  What about on experiences?   Take some time to ponder these ideas.  What differences might they make in your financial wellbeing?

Physical Wellbeing- What choices do you make every day?

Regardless of your physical health, each day you make a choice.  You are either getting healthier by the choices you make, or less healthy.  For example, I need to be exercising outdoors on a daily basis as it would help my mood.  Am I?  No, for some reason, getting out the door is challenging.  The day gets away from me before I know it.  I know what I need to be doing to be thriving, I haven’t got it in my daily habits yet.  The list goes on – eating, exercising, rest,…(I do well with rest.)  What about you?  How would you rate your physical wellbeing and self-care?  What do you need to do to get more things involved as habits?

Community Wellbeing-How well do you like and are involved in your community?

This area has a lot to do with where you live and play.  Do you feel safe in your community?  How active are you in your community?  What about your church, your volunteer organizations, your civic groups?  Security is the top attachment to a community, then people report attachments according to their personality, family, interests and personal pursuits.  I know for me and my family, we chose where we live because of the proximity to a university, the beauty of the area, the change of seasons (ha! – we live in WI) and the culture of the Midwest.  What about you?  How are you feeling connected to your community?

How did you score on your wellbeing (rate each area on a scale of 1-10)?  Top score would be 50 if you are off the charts in every area.  You will probably find you are lower in some scales than others.  How surprising was this to you?  You can make changes in your wellbeing.  What will be your next steps?  For me, it was working with a coach because I was very low in physical wellbeing and career wellbeing.  Another client I worked with changed communities.

I would love to work with you.  Your wellbeing depends on having the support you need to make changes.  Contact me for your introductory session and join me for comments at NancyBoothCoaching Facebook.  I would love us to have a discussion there!

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

7 Ways Nature Can Rock Your Well-Being!

7 Ways Nature Can Rock Your Well-Being!

How often do you get a chance to get out and enjoy nature? How intentional are you in including the outdoors in your routine?  I have discovered that nature is a vital part of my healing process for my depression and great for my well-being.  I am drawn to the beauty and quiet of nature and find it restorative.  However, I didn’t know the science behind it.  There actually is research that shows how nature supports your physical well-being and can rock your world!

Natures increases Vitamin D through sunlight

By getting out and enjoying the sunshine, you are getting an extra dose of Vitamin D.  Vitamin D can be a mood enhancer, a fighter against depression, heart attacks and strokes.  Of course, you have to protect yourself against ultraviolet rays but the Vitamin D is a help to fight off that depression.

Fresh air increases oxygen to the body

By getting outside, you are naturally exposed to fresher air (unless you’re breathing lots of car emissions!) Brains need lots of oxygen and deep breathing helps reduce stress.  More oxygen to the body also raises serotonin levels, a natural mood enhancer.

Walking outside improves concentration and creativity

There is something about the colors, textures and fresh air that gives your brain a break.  By getting outside, even briefly, you have a chance to notice things outside yourself.  This brain break has been shown to improve concentration and creativity as it allows you to relax, focus on something else for a few moments and take in a different focus.

Disease fighting cells increase

Disease fighting cells, called Natural Killer cells (NK’s) increase by 50%.  By getting outdoors, you give your body a chance to regenerate these cells.  No wonder your mother always told you to get outside to play!

Pain decreases, healing improves

Various studies in hospitals have shown that as we get outside, pain actually decreases and healing improves. Even plants or seeing nature from a window makes a difference. I know for myself, moving to the country where there is more quiet, large oak trees (see the picture above, taken from my window), I see and hear nature every day. This has improved my daily headaches.thank goodness!

Social networks can increase

Being outdoors can increase our social networks by being intentional.  Choosing to schedule a walk with a friend or take the family dog for a walk can get you out the door.  It can be a time of family, friend or neighbor get togethers.  I know in our neighborhood, it’s the time we see our neighbors the most, as we’re out walking and making those important connections.

Nature’s sounds and quiet can be meditative

Getting out to where it is quiet can slow down your thinking and give you a chance to hear your own heart.  Time away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy solitude in nature can be very restorative. Beauty in nature can speak to your soul.

Which one of these seven ways speaks to you?  Which one will you try this week?  Let me know how you feel after incorporating nature into your physical routine at NancyBoothCoaching facebook or in the comments below.  I can’t wait to hear how you let nature rock your world!

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

Take Steps Now to Enjoy Life More Fully

Where do you live your thinking life?  Thinking about the past…  “the good old days”?  Or looking to the future, “when I make more money” or “Suzy is out of the house and I have more time”?  How can you learn to enjoy life right now, living fully in the moment and feeling more contented?

Over the next few weeks together, we will be exploring what it takes to enjoy life more fully.  Brain-based research is pointing us to new ways to practice thinking and feeling so that we can fully enjoy each day, regardless of our circumstances.  When we couple those practices with what God teaches in His word, it’s a win-win for lifting our soul and rewiring our brain.

The Time Is Now

Each of us has only 24 hours a day, which is 1440 minutes a day, which is 10,080 minutes a week. However, if you are like me, I often act like I have more than that or at least try to cram more in than is possible. No matter what, each of us gets the same amount of time.  We don’t get to bank time. We do get choices in our minds and emotions in how we view and intentionally spend time. Keeping focused on God and how we view time goes a long way in how our souls can be lifted and we live in the moment.

S.T.E.P.S. To Enjoy Life More Fully – Where to Start

To determine what steps you may want to take to live more fully, we will examine the acronym STEPS.  These focus STEPS well help us get healthier and whole in the areas of:

S-Spiritual – What spiritual practices will enhance our daily lives?

T-Time – How will being intentional about how we spend our time improve our lives?

E-Emotions/Mind –   How could noticing, oxygenizing (deep breathing)and walking out a win make a difference in how we feel on a daily basis and help rewire our brains?

P-Physical- What physical strategies will help us get healthier daily?

S-Social – How does the choosing of friends and community have to do with how we grow and change?

As you think about living more fully present, examine what thoughts that are triggered by the above questions.  What is essential for you?  Where do you want to begin to take STEPS to enjoy each day more fully?

Over the next few weeks, blogs will be posted each Thursday to explore these questions.  Brain-based research and resources will be included.  How can we,  together as a community begin to take STEPS to be healthy and whole?

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

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