"I have proved by actual trial that a letter, that takes an hour to write, takes only about 3 minutes to read!"

Lewis Carroll


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What is the purpose of this Blog?

 

The purpose of this Blog is to share information on physical and mental health.  Every post will include one of the following: (1) health tips, (2) a text or article to promote discussion, (3) thoughts that come to my mind, in my every day life, that may be useful to followers or readers.  I encourage you to leave your comments and please, do so with ethics and inspiration!

Nadjla

Tuesday
May012012

Discussion #1: last news on stress + how do we handle stress in our lives?

On April 25th, Fox News published the article: "Stress is hard on a woman's heart, study suggests" based on a study presented at the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, CA.  Briefly, the study suggests that under stressful conditions, men and women show differences in increasing coronary blood flow, which is actually not present in women.  Although the sample was relatively small, including 17 people, and further studies in the field are still necessary, the study brings an interesting perspective to understand stress and stress management. 

Besides, I invite you to participate in a survey created by me with the intent to understand the most common responses people have when under stress.  This survey is short, having only 6 questions, and will only take few minutes of your time.  I also coordinated a similar poll in LinkedIn, in the group "Psychologists, coach, psychotherapists and counselors", which I participate.  It was a small poll during the last few months and I would like to compare answers and patterns.  Your participation will contribute to the continuation of this discussion in this blog, which will include presentation and discussion on the results and stress management tips!  To take the survey go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/726XHX5

 I greatly appreciate it!

If you would like to read the article from Fox News, please go to http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/25/stress-is-hard-on-woman-heart-study-suggests/#ixzz1te5Lv9po

Please note that clicking on any of the links will take you from this page.

Nadjla

 

 

Wednesday
Apr112012

Tip #1: Time is much beyond money; time is life!

Whoever knows me, knows I am not a morning person.  But, this morning I felt really good when I realized that I would have a day well divided to dedicate to various aspects of my life!  My second thought was actually a series of questions: Why do people still believe time is (only) money? Why do people reserve so many hours dedicated to work and, concomitantly, have so many excuses to do not do other essential activities that can also make a difference in their lives? Aren’t the majority of my clients reaching for life coaching because they feel they are only postponing dreams and their ideal life style?

Inspired in these morning chain of thoughts, I decided to write tips to help you think about time as a tool to live; and more specifically, to help you to think a way to manage your time in which you will feel your are actually living and not surviving or simply making to one day after other.  It is first, a matter of math; then a matter of choice.

TIPS TO ENJOYABLY USE YOUR TIME BASED ON MATH:

  1. First, think the basic: we have 24 hours to manage every day.
  2. Second, be realistic and count on hours of sleeping.  And let’s also be healthy with this choice: let’s count on 8 hours of sleeping per day.  We now have to think we have 16 hours to manage every day.
  3. Third, let’s think that the majority of us work in a full time job, which is equivalent to 8 hours a day.  Our math indicates we still have 8 hours to manage.
  4. Next, we should consider that, with few exceptions, we could say that most of us commute to work and also use a bike, car, train, cab or bus to go for some errands.  If we consider a typical day in which we are really taking care of our lives, we will be commuting more than just from home-work and work-home.  Let’s reserve so 2 hours of total commuting per day. Now we have 6 hours to manage every day.
  5. We also should include here meals time, right?  The ideal is that we eat slowly, enjoying our food and away from phones, computers and TVs.  Also the ideal is that we cook our own food, avoiding the excess of fat, sugar and sodium that are most of the times present in restaurants and delis food (even if you go to a healthy place this can be true).  Counting that we cook and eat at least 3 meals a day, let’s reserve 4 hours for meals and then we have 2 hours left to manage.

Some may say, “2 hours is nothing left!”  Compared with the total 24 hours I can understand how this may be true, but try to think in a different perspective and only about the 2 hours left; and I ask you: if you have 2 hours a day to pick whatever you want to do, what would you pick to do today?

Free Stock Images - Boy and pram
© Photographer: Radu Razvan Gheorghe | Agency: Dreamstime.com

TIPS TO ENJOYABLY USE YOUR TIME BASED ON CHOICES:

I am sure from this perspective, we open to diverse opportunities to help us to manage our days. Surely, on some days these two hours will be dedicated to go for errands, pick up and drop kids in different places, and other things you don’t necessarily think are fun.  BUT, most importantly, on other days we can pick these two hours for treating ourselves, mind and body together: go for exercises at gym or outdoors, have a long shower or a great bath making use of aromatherapy, meet a friend, read a book, go to a spa, go for a date, watch the sunset, walk in the neighborhood, have a play time with family, watch a movie, dedicate your time for some hobby, call a family member or friend, meditate, take care of the garden, organize your closet ... and so many other fun and healthy things to do!

2 hours a day can bring us much more pleasure, calm, and fun, right? 2 hours a day also means, 10 hours a week (weekdays only), 40 hours a month, 480 hours per year! In a long term, it can really make a difference on our lives!

 

Friday
Mar092012

Hobby #1

Knowing that I have multiple options to write in this blog, I caught myself thinking: "what should I write to start the blog? Should I be specific and talk about a mental health or health issue, or should I write something less objective that also helps the reader to know me a little better?"

Well, after a moment of mediation, I decided that the first entry would be the first of a series of entries dedicated to my hobbies. It doesn't mean that you will have to read all my hobbies all at once. I will include them when I feel like talking about them, and this is the way I will do with mental health and general health tips and my other and general thoughts.

Well, let's get started!

Hobby #1 is photography:

I wish I could have more time for photographing because when I do, I really feel that it is also very therapeutic. I feel calm, inspired, connected to my subjects and surroundings (people, views, architecture, art, nature etc). Aren't these three feelings a great tools to make us feel good? What can be better than feel calm, inspired and connected?

Another feature of photographing that I like is that is an action not always based on what is planned:"I like this! Oh, let me take a picture!"  No, sometimes the scene is there and you barely have time to catch it; it drives you to the unexpected...and this is challenging!  To be challenged also contributes to us to feel good.  Well, I understand some of you may think the opposite and really don't feel that great when you are challenged.  But, this is a perspective that may change if you look from different angles.  My angle is: challenging situations may cause a stress and some anxiety while you are in it but after, it makes you feel good! Even when you think you failed, it should feels good because you tried and you DID YOUR BEST TO DO IT!  In this perspective, your response is more important than the challenge itself.  Think: if you really do your best, doesn't it make you feel good?

So, for today I will leave here these four words:

- calm

- inspiration

- connection

- challenge

These will be my words for you today to reflect how these aspects are in your life and how do you connect with them. Leave a note back, whenever you feel like.

To finish, I would like to share a picture that I took in my last vacation in June of last year, in Chapada Diamantina National Park, Brazil. kids celebrating "São Pedro" in Conceição dos Gatos, Chapada Diamantina, Brazil - June 2011. I was with my husband and friends from Chapada enjoying an amazing festivity in honor to "São Pedro." The festivity was marked by aspects of traditional culture in a mix of prayers, music, dance, food, and so many other forms of community life!  I thank all the people that make this yearly festival possible and my friends' invitation to a such fabulous night!

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