To Sleep Well in the New Year

I just read a study which stated that sleeping more was the third biggest New Year’s resolution. It is no doubt that millions of Americans are having issues with sleep and energy. We are working and worrying more and more. And there is a growing trend in unhealthy energy products that will shoot you up, but will also have a dramatic impact on your sleep, only further enhancing the cycle. Both of these have a resounding impact on good sleep health.

Studies demonstrate that the benefits of 8-10 hours of sleep per night could benefit cardiovascular health, weight management, healthy skin, prevent cancers, decrease mental illness, and lead to a healthier well-being.

So what is getting in the way of our sleep? No doubt that there are some extraneous variable out there, like having babies or rowdy neighbors. However, the most common forms of insomnia and sleep deprivation are obesity and anxiety. The good news is that both of these are very treatable! However, we have to make it a priority. We have to commit to follow the sleep rules and to putting ourselves FIRST. We have to commit to health and a long and fulfilling life. 

Here are five essential steps to good sleep hygiene:

  1. Stop caffeine consumption five hours prior to bed.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Eat a well-balanced diet. Do not starve yourself.
  4. Create a soothing bed-time routine.
  5. Incorporate sleep supplements, such as calcium, magnesium, and L-Arginine for optimal restoration.

You Can’t Achieve Your Goals if You Haven’t Made Any

The first step to every counseling or coaching relationship is to figure out your goals. I ask a series of questions that helps me identify what you want to accomplish. The question of your goals is always asked when I am done. I don’t want to miss anything. Sometimes you know what your goals are and sometimes you don’t. However, we will never get to your destination if we don’t clearly identify your goals.

Clearly defining your goals is the #1 way to achieving them. Many clients will tell me that they want to be happy or healthy. What the heck does that mean? I can assure you that happy to you might be different to someone else. So you and I need to carefully iron out what happy is. Does it mean satisfaction in your relationship? Being less tired? Having a fulfilling career? What will it take you to achieve happiness? If we can’t identify it, we won’t know when we get there.

Setting clear, measurable goals both short-term and long-term helps to bring awareness to what we want and need. It enables you to create a path to get there. We might need to redefine them along the way. We might need to break them down into microscopic steps, but it is crucial for a successful outcome.

I mentioned earlier, that I have often heard clients tell me that 2012 will be their year. What does that mean? How will we make this new year yours? What will you have to achieve to feel that this endeavor was successful? And how will you get there?

Week 1 of the Wellness Challenge is all about setting clearly defined, measurable goals. Then we follow steps that keep them at the forefront of your mind, make them attainable, and combat the obstacles that will surely show up. Is this your year? Let’s take on the Wellness Challenge together!

Testimonials of a Wellness Coach

I am so grateful to be able to do what I do. It has taken me several years to get to be at this place in my career and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I always knew that the essential tools and lessons that I was learning through education, experience, and introspection were missing somewhere in life lessons 101.

Here are a few amazing testimonials and feedback that I have received from individual and group wellness coaching in the last couple of weeks.

“I have lost 11 lbs in 5 weeks. This is unreal. Thank you so much.” ~L.S, 32

“I am going to bed every night before 10:30. It was hard at first but now I am sleeping and rested. I haven’t felt this way in years.” ~ J.L, 39

“I stopped my psychotropic meds. I just don’t need them now and I feel great.” ~G*

“This is why everyone needs a coach. Women need to hear that it is ok to stop beating themselves up!” ~H.T, 35

“It is hard to balance your weight loss goals with your goals to go out and meet people, but I am doing it!” ~L.S, 32

“I have started eating breakfast or having a smoothie and am seeing changes in my mood, energy level, and weight.” ~A.B, 28

“Powered through a 4 mile run. It was a challenge but I finished.” ~E.H, 26

*Not recommended without consulting a physician

The Cost of Mental Healthcare

There are some strong opinions when it comes to mental health treatment. Some people are all for some meds. Others would rather try every option before medication. Some people see therapy as a natural, healthy treatment option. Others believe that talking doesn’t help. The good news is that there are a lot of options when it comes to treating and caring for your mental health.

For most people that are experiencing situational mental health symptoms (meaning that your mental state is to due specific circumstances in your life), medication is not necessary. It is an option, but one that should be monitored carefully for effectiveness and side effects.

No matter what your preferred mode, treatment is not cheap. The bills can really add up. It is not only important to know what your options of treatment are, but also how much they cost and how you would like to divi those costs. The average price of one name brand psychotropic prescription for one month is $150. Let’s see how else we can spend $150 in one month:

  • 1-2 therapy sessions
  • 10 yoga classes
  • 2-3 personal training sessions
  • 2-3 massages or other spa treatments
  • 1 meeting with a homeopathic physician (and probably recommended supplements)
  • Art or cooking classes (prices will vary)
Now get creative and see how you can mix and match services based on your needs and level of stress. This is your mental health. And, just because it is Women’s Health Week, I will help get you started! All health assessments are free this week! And, all health coaching sessions that are purchased over the next three months are 20% off! SO spread the word, and let’s celebrate this health week together!

Is DBT Right for You?

I have mentioned DBT a time or two throughout this blog. But many of you may be asking, “What is DBT?” DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy and was developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. Since about 1993, it has demonstrated effectiveness in everything from eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and what I always say was just missing from our 10th grade curriculum. When people talk about DBT, they are usually referring to a skills group, but it has an important individual therapy component as well.

Skills group targets four behaviors to improve: Core Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Core Mindfulness: Targets your judgments of yourself and others, assists in doing one thing in the moment, increased personal awareness, and doing things that will effectively help you achieve the outcome of your life goals.

Distress Tolerance: This is what I call “The Giant Toolbox of Coping Skills.” Distress Tolerance teaches a ton of coping skills, advocating to try different ones in different situations, build more positive experiences in your life, and be in the moment when using the skills.

Emotion Regulation: For those of you that feel that you have no control over your emotions, this section is for you. Emotion regulation teaches how to identify your emotions, value the function of your emotions, and focus on creating more positive emotions. It helps us understand our emotions so that we can understand and control our reaction to those emotions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness. This unit builds skill in relationship building, self-respect, and having your needs met, effectively.

DBT is a validating method of treatment and can be an effective option for those who have tried everything with little results or those that may want to take their treatment to the next level.