Free Life Coaching May 2020

 

Free Life coaching for the month of May 2020

Uncertain times call for bold actions.  Yes, Free life coaching for the month of May 2020- no strings attached.

 You can contact me below to set up your 30 min call. 

 Donations are accepted based on your situation with no expectations on my part.

Why offer life coaching by donation?

 I feel as unstable as anyone with the level of uncertainty about our collective future. What I do know is how to provide life coaching with a focus on managing stress. There is plenty of extra stress and fear operating in our lives right now.  Coaching gives me an anchor and helps me stay grounded. Coaching is about seeing solutions instead of only seeing the problems.  When you engage in coaching you will focus your awareness on solutions with a positive attitude. That is why I am offering free life coaching for the month of may 2020.

Life coaching is a way to help you sort through your choices and decisions. A coach is there to listen to your plans and concerns. Life coaching is a useful tool when you feel like you have lost your way and don’t know how to begin to find a starting point to move forward. In times of stress it is easy to get stuck in old patterns. Sorting out closets is easy compared to sorting through emotions in your brain. Life coaching provides a path to move forward in the midst of uncertainty.

 

How to sign up: Contact Coach Gwen on the link below

Schedule a coaching call

How to make walking fun

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Photo by João Cabral on Pexels.com

10 ways to add fun to your walk

Walking in your house or outside is the easy way to get some exercise these days

With social distancing in place, walking alone is the new pattern. Here are 10 ways to add fun to your walk.

  1. Vary your stride- take high steps, long steps or walk sideways
  2. Do arm circles as you walk
  3. Pick bird, plant or tree as a topic and try to identify as many as you can on your walk
  4. Add in random exercises: squats, toe raises, lunges, tree or fence push ups
  5. Whistle or hum random tunes 
  6. Stop and shake your whole body to release tension 
  7. Pump your arms like you are running fast
  8. Breath- long slow deep breaths
  9. Look for beauty in your surroundings
  10. Try walking mediation- focus your mind on your feet and how each step feels 

 

Get creative and add fun to your walking by looking around and enjoying the beauty around you

No matter what you do get outside when you can, exercise in fresh air is good for your mental health. Walk around your house or all of these ideas can be done walking in place to music of your choice. Self care is not optional, it is critical to your overall health.

 

Need more ideas: Schedule a coaching call

Contact  Coach Gwen for a complimentary life coaching strategy session

Compassion Fatigue from a Coaching perspective: Build Emotional Muscles

 

 I am taking a coach approach to compassion fatigue today . So instead of quoting you statistics and all the studies that demonstrate why you are at risk . I want to ask you to look into your behaviors and actions that you can manage while you work in a high risk environment. In coaching our studies demonstrate that your personal beliefs drive your actions and your choices on a daily basis. Some of these beliefs were taught or handed down from our families, some we get from messages from society , our peers or our friends, Not all of these beliefs are helpful or useful,   Compassion fatigue from a coaching perspective involves helping you building your own emotional muscles by reflecting on on your current patterns and actions.

Veterinary professionals are known for their love and passion for pets and animals. This passion, coupled with positive and negative outcomes of the work they do, puts veterinary professionals in a position to face compassion fatigue in their lives. Health care professionals are at risk due to the high cost of caring for others in emotional and physical pain. This is a complex issue, so please remember this post is just a starting point to increase your awareness of what you can do for yourself in a high risk profession.

How to lower your risk of compassion fatigue?

Building up your emotional muscles or gaining skills that help you to adapt to stressful situations will build up your emotional resilience.

What do resistant people do? Can you learn these skills? Yes

Who are your support systems? 

Friends, family, co- workers- having a social network who supports you and each other will boast your resilience level and lower your  stress level.

Self care is critical, not optional

Self care- develop a self care system that supports you in your personal. emotional, mental and physical health. Learn to say no to request for your time. Strong reasonable boundaries will help reduce the impact of compassion fatigue

Pause here and write down 3 things you know help you recharge your battery

Develop a positive outlook

Appreciate and give yourself credit along the way- 

Celebrate the small steps of progress – random acts of kindness- all these small things add up to give us a sense of satisfaction and purpose for each day- if we look for them

What we focus on grows

 What do you do to recognize your success or daily positive events? What could you do to pay more attention to them?

Accept the fact that change is constant

 Things, people and situations around you will change on a regular basis you will need to change along with it.

One thing we seek as humans is certainty- knowing what will happen, gathering information -understanding the future and making plans- having certainty is reassuring- it makes us comfortable

Yet life is full of uncertainty- so being able to deal with a level of uncertainly is part of building up our emotional muscles.

 I hope that I have  given you ideas on how resilient people deal with stress- skills and behaviors that are learned

 I have asked you to reflect on how your beliefs impact your choices and asked you to consider how actions can support your or hinder you with your own goals.

Finally I would like to stress the value of self -care

Is what you are currently doing enough to sustain you in this profession?

 What are your barriers? What gets in the way? What steps would you need to take to start making changes that would impact you in a positive way

Please write down one step you will commit to taking next week that will support your personal self care goals.

Start talking to your peers or friends, you do not have to walk this path alone.

Coaching is one support system that can help you deal with compassion fatigue .

 It is easy to say, just take better care of yourself. It is not that easy to implement in a high stress, busy health care profession.

 You deserve and need an advocate and support system to create changes that will build up your emotional muscles and reduce the risk of compassion fatigue in your daily life.

 Contact Coach Gwen for a personal complimentary strategy session.

Schedule a coaching call

As  healthcare professional for over 30 years, I am fluent in the language of secondary trauma from caring for others. 

Why we need connections to thrive

 

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Brené Brown

I love this definition of connections by Brene Brown. The essence of connections is based on the value that they bring to our lives.  Not just how many friends or relatives do you have. Not just how many people know you. Who do you value in life? How do you add value to their lives?

As we go into this Thanksgiving weekend, it is a good time to reflect on the people in our lives.

How can I show my gratitude to those important connections in my life?

What am I doing to sustain those connections?

Am I accepting of my friends and family, just as they are?

A good week to reflect on our valuable connections and how we can support each other with positive energy and strength.

Contact Coach Gwen for more tools.   Schedule a coaching call

Your first strategy coaching call is free.

 

Work Life Balance made Simple

How to make work life balance simple:

  • Everything is not equally important. Do fewer things and do them well.
  • Decide what your values are — and which ones take precedence.
  • Do the things that get results.
  • Focus on the things only you can do.
  • Do the important things, which must be done now.

Work life balance can be simple over time. It won’t be resolved tomorrow but you can get much, much better at this with practice.

Five Key concepts that make work life balance simple:

  1. Learn to say no.

Say no to requests that are not your highest-level priority. Ask your self: am I being helpful or I am doing someone else’s work for them? Is this the best use of my time right now?

You can do anything once you stop trying to do everything.

When you say yes to one request, stop to think what you are saying no to at the same time. You can only spend your time on one thing at a time.

  1. Plan ahead.

Planning out your schedule makes sure the important things get done. Setting up a list for each day, helps you stay on track.

Schedule the important things on your calendar. If getting to your daughters soccer game is important, put that on the schedule.

Schedule some time for yourself as if it was an important meeting.

When you plan ahead for your high value activities, they happen. If you neglect to plan you end up dealing with what ever comes at you in a random fashion.

That feels like a lack of control and is exhausting to react rather than take action.

 

  1. Bundle chores or errands.

Check your patterns; be mindful of how you spend your time and the choices you make on a daily/ weekly basis. How many trips to you make to the grocery store?

When you have a plan for meals you can reduce time spent at the store and preparing meals. Plan ahead for errands and take once a week to do them.

Return phone calls in a batch at work. Save low priority tasks for when you need a mental break.

 

  1. Manage work time

Start each day with the high priority list. Plan ahead on what time you will leave work each day. Cut back on distractions by closing your door or asking questions when you are interrupted. Asking questions can save everyone time. Ask about time, priority and who else is involved before you take on another project.

What is the deadline for this? What do you need from me right now? If someone brings you a problem or needs help: ask first: What solutions do you have in mind? Or ask what have you tried first? Refer back to # 1. Learn to say no.

 

  1. Enjoy weekends and vacation time.

When you are home, really be home. Keep work out of your personal time.

Unplug from work emails, phone calls or texts. Don’t feel like you have to spend every spare moment on chores or tasks. Set up personal rest time doing something fun and enjoyable, even if it seems wasteful. It is not. Time for self-care is critical to enjoying your life and reducing stress.

My final few thoughts are about letting go of expectations and being perfect.

Give up on perfection. Good enough is good enough for many tasks. Other people can do things instead of you doing everything. You just have to let them.

Gaining a work life balance is a process. Reflecting on what is important to you is the first step to making changes that last. Feeling unbalanced? Contact Gwen for a grounding coaching session.

Click here to get a 30 min coaching time

Essential Healthy Habits for Health and Wellness

Everyone knows know that if you took action on one essential healthy habit, everything else in your life would be a little bit easier. Here is a list of possible habits for you to choose from:

 

Getting a full nights sleep

Starting off the day with a meaningful activity

Planning time for the week ahead

Quiet time for thought and meditation

Physical exercise

Daily practice of gratitude

Inspirational or personal development

Setting boundaries on your time with other people

Leaving all work tasks and thoughts at work

Self care as a daily activity

Healthy food that nourishes your body

Family or fun time

Social time with friends

Simplify your to do list

Delegate more tasks

Reflect and learn from mistakes

Setting your intentions for each day

Let go of those things you cannot control

 

If living a long healthy life is your goal: follow these essential healthy habits to longevity

  1. Maintain a healthy body weight between 18.5-29.5 BMI
  2. Get at least 7 hours a sleep every night
  3. Do moderate exercise 150 min a week or 75 min of intense exercise weekly
  4. No Alcohol or only in moderation 1-2 drink/day with no binge drinking
  5. Not smoking

 

As you might think some of these essential health habits are linked together. Regular exercise helps with weight management and promotes better sleeping habits. Just as smoking or regular drinking of alcohol can be a hindrance to intense exercise workouts. The study that looked at habits for longevity did not consider stress, which I consider a key factor that derails many goals in creating a healthy lifestyle.

My challenge to you is to pick 1-3 of these essential core habits and practice them on a daily basis for 2 full weeks. You select the habit, define what it means to you and keep the actual time small. If you write out a list of 3 things each day you are grateful for: it only takes a minute. That means this is a habit that is easy to do.

Physical exercise can vary between a 10-minute walk , 3 minutes of stretching, or focused deep breathing.

My list has get a full nights sleep, exercise daily and creating a morning routine that is focused on setting intentions for the day, reflection and tackling the most important things first. Why? Because when I do those healthy habits my days flow smoothly and I feel energized and enthusiastic about my days accomplishments.

Need help? Contact Coach Gwen to set up a system that makes your day easier.

Click for a 30 min complimentary coaching call

Compassion Fatigue Are you at Risk?

If you find yourself emotionally and physically exhausted, easily irritated and blaming others for problems on a daily basis: you could be suffering from compassion fatigue.

There are many resources for how to recognize, prevent and treat compassion fatigue. I would like to focus on the coaching approach to dealing with this chronic and debilitating condition. Coaching is unique in starting with examining your personal operating beliefs.   Your beliefs drive your actions on a daily basis. Reflection and examining your beliefs is the key to changing your actions. If you believe that putting the needs of others first is important, then your actions will reflect that belief. If you believe that you are totally responsible for healing an injured animal than you will take on all of the pain and disappointment if that animal fails to thrive. If you believe that you must be perfect with every task at work, than you will consider any misstep a personal failure.

A strong identification with weak, suffering, helpless animals or people contribute to higher levels of compassion fatigue. Caring to much and taking on all the emotional blame for any outcome is part of a belief that you need to care more than any one else in order to help others.

So the reason that many people are attracted to a caring, helping profession is also the reason they are at higher risk for compassion fatigue.

Check your self against these common symptoms:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Reduced sense of personal accomplishment or meaning in work
  • Poor habits of self-care
  • Excessive blaming
  • Isolations for others
  • Physical exhaustion and chronic fatigue
  • Compulsive behaviors such as overeating, overspending or binge TV watching
  • Substance abuse to mask feelings
  • Pent up emotions
  • Difficulty concentrating or making basic decisions

How does Spiral Coaching help with compassion fatigue?

Coaching is based on self-learning, self-compassion and reflection to make adjustments in your normal patterns that support a healthier, happier you. Resilient people practice self-care, exercise regularly, eat healthy and have strong support systems. Do You?  Practicing self compassion is a way to recharge your emotional batteries. Using a journal with a coach gives you a guide for faster results

.Sign up for your free on line journal

How would you rate your stress level today? Do you have signs of compassion fatigue?

What are you willing to do about improving your life right now?

What beliefs drive your actions? Do those beliefs support a healthy lifestyle?

These are basic coaching questions that start the process of moving in a direction of creating positive changes for you.

If you don’t like where you are, you must be willing to take action before your life will change.

Take a step forward today. Contact Coach Gwen Veterinarian Services – go to your page

Click to schedule a 30 min complimentary coach call

How to lower Stress / High Blood Pressure Naturally

 

Learning to take a deep breath will lower stress and manage high blood pressure naturally. There are a few surprising things you can do that help with both stress and high blood pressure.

Stress increases your fight or flight reaction in a crisis. This is a helpful response in an emergency. The problem is living in that highly reactive state is harmful to both your physical and emotional self. Studies show that blood pressure is and stress are related. Stress can effectively raise blood pressure and managing stress with breathing can lower blood pressure. This relationship is dynamic with many other factors. What we do know is that learning to use relaxation techniques like deep breathing help both high blood pressure and stress. How can you get out of that stressful reactive state naturally?

Simply taking a deep breath is a good way to start. A focus on breathing is at the core of various relaxation techniques.

10 ways to lower your blood pressure naturally

  • Learn breathing exercises- Deep slow breathing is the oldest and best-known technique to decrease stress.

Taking 4 deep breaths in through your nose and out for a count of 5 is a method you can do at work without any special equipment. If you have the time, than imagine yourself in a relaxing place while you focus on deep breathing for 1-3 min.
Power Walk- 30- 60 minutes a day can help bring down your blood pressure numbers. Walk outside when you can, fresh air and sunshine add to the fun

Play with your pet – Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Music is effective for relaxation and stress

  • Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. … Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day.
  • Reduce salt intake- The AHA recommends limiting your sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day. That’s a little over half a teaspoon. 
To decrease sodium in your diet, don’t add salt to your food. One teaspoon of table salt has 2,300 mg of sodium! Use herbs and spices to add flavor food.
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruits and fiber. Eliminating foods that are high in saturated fats, such as processed foods, full-fat dairy products, and fatty meats It helps to cut back on desserts and sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit drinks.
  • Lose the extra weight. Pay attention to your food intake, increase your activity level. All calories are not the same. Contact Gwen about the Transitions Lifestyle program.
  • Manage your stress- look at the root causes of your stress triggers
  • Get full nights sleep- Sleep allows our energy level to replenish and physical body to rest. Follow a pattern to set yourself up for sleep by avoiding technology and visual stimulation 30 minutes before your normal bedtime.

Need a free app to help the habit of deep breathing? Try Breath2Relax

Read more about exercise that helps click below:

AHA guidelines for exercise that lowers blood pressure

Contact Coach Gwen Schedule a time to talk

 

The Habit of Completion will simplify your Life

 

The Habit of Completion

Who feels good about checking off something on your list? It seems like a small satisfaction to know you have completed a task. Yet those some acts of completion help motivate us to keep moving forward with goals, projects or just the steps of everyday life. What stops us from completing projects?

Time. Lack of time is what everyone says prevents them from getting things done. I would disagree. I have found with my clients that when drilling down how they spend time, there are things they could stop doing, give away or spend less time on. This change would then gain some valuable time for personal projects.

I challenge you to reflect on how you spend your time and look for areas that you can make a change. Consider how these three steps might help you develop a habit of completion.

 

Step One: Learn How to Say No

Practice saying no to demands on your time and energy. Only say yes to things that make the best use of your time and bring you energy.

 

Step Two: Get Rid of Clutter

Start with a small area and create a clutter free zone- on your desk and in your home. Use this area to work on projects or planning where you are not distracted by other items that might claim your attention. Clean out closets of items you do not use or do not fit and find them a home with someone else who could use these items.

 

Step Three: Chunk it Down

Take any project that is too big or overwhelming and break it down into steps. Decide what five actions you could take to start on the big project and do those. Pick a time period between 20-40 minutes and just commit to spending that amount of time on the project every week or every day.

 

The habit of completion can be improved when you focus on small steps along the way. Give yourself credit for each step, so you avoid that feeling of overwhelm that prevents you from even starting on a new project.

I am planning on spending the last few days of this year cleaning out files, clearing up loose ends and clearing out the clutter that allows me a fresh start to 2017. Need help? I won’t physically come to your office or home, but I can give you some practical ideas on how and where to start your new habits for 2017.

Make Happiness Top Priority

 

thumb_img_0793_1024What would change in your life if you decided make happiness your top priority?

Edwin Edebiri, thinks that happiness needs to be our default position and has declared himself the Chief Happiness Officer. Listen to his Ted- ex talk here. Happiness as a Default Position
He speaks to a core belief that happiness is a state you deserve to enjoy and everyone can find happiness. I agree that happiness is a state of mind that improves when you pay attention to what does make you happy. What I like about his talk is the idea that self-compassion or the ability to forgive your self is a key component to happiness.
I pulled a few ideas that appealed to me from his talk.

How to make Happiness your priority in life
1. Decide to be happy
2. Smile more and learn to laugh at yourself
3. Create a gratitude list, include what makes you happy
4. Create a list of all the things that make you unhappy and seek solutions
5. Eliminate some things that that contribute to unhappiness
6. Be active and make healthy choices for self care
7. Create a dream list and take actions towards your dreams
8. Play
Is it really that easy to become happier?

There is research that supports that idea of happiness linked to attitude and your focus on need satisfying goals. Remember that these are goals that nourish and support you, not just achievement goals.
Goals that nourish you can be long-term projects that you work on over time. Happiness comes from taking good care of your self in small ways.

What makes me happy?
I have small things that make me happy: hearing a bird sing, riding my bike instead of driving to the store, connecting with people on a summer walk, swimming and a quiet start to the day drinking tea. Consider the small things that you find pleasure in. What does make you feel good? It can be an activity or something you view or appreciate. When you pause at the end of every day and create a gratitude list, it gives you a reason to be happy. In hectic times the only thing we really can control is our attitude.

Look at the ideas above and find what fits your needs. Try one or two of them and see what happens.  Really it can be that easy to enjoy happy moments.
Need some other ways to check your happiness level? Schedule a call with Coach Gwen

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