Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Woman Who Takes Care of Herself, Teaches Her Daughter to Do The Same

“My happiness is tied to how I feel about myself. I want my girls to see a mother who takes care of herself.”- Michelle Obama

When we practice self-care, we teach our daughters to do the same. Our daughters are learning self-care by watching us. Historically, women’s needs have been suppressed and culturally, it was our role and responsibility to selflessly nurture those around us. This taught us to put others first and leave our needs for last. We, in essence, ignore what we need to help us live optimally. Therefore, it’s especially important that we model self-care for our daughters, so they don’t fall into the ways of the past.

Being a mother to two beautiful children is my greatest accomplishment. Not my medical degree, or the awards I have won, or the business I started and a whole host of other accolades; but the fact that I breathed life into two amazing human beings who changed my life forever. They taught me what it means to love unconditionally, to protect someone at all costs, and to want more for someone than I wanted for myself.

Having a daughter brought me joy and a sense of responsibility for raising a young lady who is confident, strong, caring and intelligent. A recent study from the University of Georgia found that, the mother-daughter relationship is the most important family dynamic that determines a girl's future relationship skills and self-esteem. When mothers are overly critical, their daughters are more likely to have poor social skills and unhealthy attitudes toward eating, compared with girls with more supportive moms.

I wanted to be supportive and say all the right things that would provide her with the necessary tools to develop a strong sense of herself, to build healthy relationships with others and know the importance of self-care. I became aware that being a mom was not only about providing her with unconditional love, but also respecting her opinions, providing boundaries, communicating effectively and being open to change. I realized early on that my daughter was watching me. She observed the way I dressed, my mannerisms, the relationships I had with others, my own fears and anxiety. She watched how I cared for myself and how I allowed others to treat me. I wanted to make sure she was receiving positive messages, so I started to listen for the underlying meaning in our talks and learned the importance of being present.

My daughter taught me the importance of self-care. My own exhaustion and burnout was recognized by her. She showed me that self-care is important by making me realize that I could not be fully present for her while I was drained and fatigued. She helped me find the balance I needed to be great mom, wife, and career woman. I began to take time out for me so that I could have the life I wanted for myself and for her.

The practice of self-care and taking time to cater to your needs teaches others how to treat you. It shows them that you value taking time for yourself and also that they should respect your ‘me-time.’ Developing these habits for yourself and changing the narrative for how women should care for themselves and others, gives our daughters a solid foundation for adopting and practicing healthy habits. This in turn will lead to lower rates of stress, anxiety, health problems and strained relationships.

It’s critical to develop a routine of self-care. Your self -care routine should be specific to your wants and needs. My practice includes meditation, prayer, walks, massages and reading. It includes preventive check-ups, volunteering in my community and spending time with family. My children, especially my daughter, remind me to have fun and to find that inner child who liked to be spontaneous, adventerous, and dance when there is no music—all things that made her feel joyous and free.

I can’t tell you how to practice self-care, but it should include taking time to rest, exercise, eat healthy and have fun. In return, you will enhance your immune system, reduce stress, control your weight, increase your energy and improve your mood. Teaching our daughters these lessons early on allows them the opportunity to practice and develop healthy habits that will last forever.

Ready to develop a self-care action plan and be a positive role model for your daughter? Register for my Signature Course, The Ultimate Roadmap To Finding Time For Yourself. The kick off for the course is July 23rd. The first 10 registrants will receive as a bonus, in addition to the online course, weekly live group coaching sessions with me. Find out more here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Self-care Mindset: The 5 Tools A Woman Must Have To Start Taking Time For Herself

Self-care is not selfish is a popular statement these days. Women are starting to realize that time for themselves allows them to be better wives, mothers, sisters, friends and coworkers. Women often fall into the trap of not embracing self-care because the idea of putting themselves first is a difficult concept to grasp. But why is that? It’s because, historically, women have always taken care of others before themselves. Women have been taught this behavior and it has been reinforced by society for many years. Unless women break the cycle, they are going to pass down those behaviors and beliefs to their daughters and also their sons who will then have those same expectations in their marriage.

What is Self-Care?

It’s self-love and it’s self-respect. It’s a commitment you make to yourself to take care of your mind, body and spirit. Self-care is as necessary as the air you breathe, so it’s essential that you reject the belief that taking time for yourself, equates practicing self-indulgence.

Self-care is real, and it matters.

Self-care is how you replenish all that you’ve given away and sacrificed. It’s the mindset, activities, practices and habits you embrace to guard yourself against stress, illness, depression, anxiety, and many more negative conditions. In the medical field it’s called practicing prevention. To care for yourself, you first have to know what you need and then go get it.

Practicing self-care can not only change your life but it can save your life. So, what happens when you practice self-care? What would that look like?

As with the scenario of a plane that has lost pressure, the right thing to do is to always help you first. Then, when you have your mask in place, you can assist others. The reason for this is simple. Until you are taken care of, you are likely to cause more problems and become part of the overall problem rather than being part of the solution. This is what self-care looks like. It’s about taking care of the things that matter to help heal you so that you can become part of the solution.

So how do we get in the mindset of putting ourselves first and practicing self-care?

These are the tools women must have:

1.       Boundaries:  Understand what it means to create boundaries. We have all heard that we must learn to say no. And I truly believe that it’s crucial to be comfortable with saying no and knowing when to say it. But the truth is that most people get uneasy just thinking about having to tell someone no. So, the key is to not concentrate on the negative connotation that the word no may bring. Don’t dwell on the feeling that you are going to hurt someone’s feelings if you say no. You can approach saying no with the intention of honoring the request of the person by letting them know that you understand their needs and would be happy to help if another opportunity arises, but now is not a good time. No explanation needed.

2.       Gratitude: Put self-care before your daily grind and wake up in the morning with gratitude. Practicing gratitude will get you in the mindset of what it means to take care of yourself. The fact that you wake up each morning and can live to see another day and be given another chance to make it better or make it right is the ultimate form of self-care. To continue the gratitude practice, you have to pour into yourself what your body needs in order to continue waking up each morning.

3.       Self-love: This goes back to #1 because you must love yourself enough to set boundaries. You must cherish your time and energy. When you love yourself, you will do whatever it takes to protect your mental as well as your physical health. You know how important you are and what you’re worth.

4.       A voice: A woman who puts herself first, is someone who has found her voice. She is able to know and verbalize her wants and needs. She does not let mommy guilt, wife guilt, or daughter guilt rule her decisions and she is unapologetic about taking time for herself.

5.       A schedule: Learning to schedule your time and prioritizing is the ultimate form of self-care. It allows you to be able to make time in your schedule for you and the things you love to do. Being able to let go of things that don’t serve you will allow you to make time for the things that really matter.

Self-care comes in many forms-physical, mental, spiritual and social. Developing a self-care plan that covers all these areas, that is easy to maintain and that gives you the results you need is important to your physical and mental wellbeing.

Before you lose your way and continue to live in survival mode—before you get into the habit of not checking in with yourself—let’s make a commitment to plant the seed of a wholesome self-care routine.

Ready to start planting the seed? Register for my Signature Course, The Ultimate Roadmap To Finding Time For Yourself. The kick off for the course is July 23rd. The first 10 registrants will receive as bonus, in addition to the online course, weekly live group coaching sessions with me. Find out more here

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Stay Healthy This Summer With These Low-Calorie Snack Options

To stay in tip top shape during the summer, it’s important to eat healthy. Often, when we look for a snack on the go, it’s easier to pick unhealthy snacks like chips and cookies. Let’s face it, it’s easier, familiar and convenient, but there are several healthy alternatives that you can grab quickly and enjoy poolside, in the park or even pack for work. When grabbing healthy snacks try to aim for items under 200 calories. 

Below are a couple of options:

Veggies and Hummus-You can have as many veggies as you like. Think celery sticks, carrot sticks, broccoli, green peppers with about 3-4 tbsp of hummus.

Almonds- 100 calorie pack almonds are easy to grab and go. Almonds are a great

Apple slices and almond butter or nut butter- Apples are a great source of fiber. The almond or nut better provides protein and healthy fat to keep you feeling full.

KIND Bars- Healthy, packaged snacks made with whole ingredients and under 200 calories.

Popcorn- Popcorn that is air popped and eaten without butter or salt can serve as a healthy whole grain food that is low in calories and high in fiber.

Fruit- Summertime is great for eating fresh fruit. Try frozen grapes, strawberries, grilled peaches. Fruits also count toward your fluid intake. Some kinds of fruit are more nutritious than others. Read more here for fruits you may want to avoid or consume in moderation https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-overrated-fruits-and-why-you-should-avoid-them/amp/ 

Greek yogurt- Greek yogurt contains protein that keeps you satisfied and it’s low in fat. For a crunchy effect add granola or whole grain cereal.  

Make sure your next grocery shopping trip includes buying some of the items above and then take the time to package them so it’s easy to grab and go. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summertime Skin Self-Care

Summer is a great time to ramp up your self-care routine. The warm weather and longer days mean more time spent outdoors. While being outdoors is great for increasing your mood and getting Vitamin D, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause damage to your skin. Overexposure to the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid going outdoors, but you do need to take the necessary measures to protect your skin.

Protecting your skin from the sun is crucial for everyone, even those with darker complexions. It has become a misconception that people of color do not need to use sunscreen. The belief is that the melanin in their skin protects against the sun’s harmful rays. However, while melanin does provide some protection, it does not provide total protection. African Americans and people of color can still get a sunburn and skin cancer. Therefore, people with darker skin tones also need to use sunscreen. 

Below are some tips for protecting your skin:

Try to avoid staying out in the sun too long during the hottest times of the day between 10:00 am -4:00 pm. If you need to be outdoors for long periods during this time, try to find a shady area and protect your skin.

Wear sunscreen! Sunscreen should protect against UVA and UV and contain an SPF of 30 or greater. It should also be water resistant. It’s important to apply every 1-2 hours and especially after swimming or vigorous activity that makes you sweat. When applying sunscreen to exposed areas use at least two tablespoons. You should go no longer than 20 minutes in the sun without applying sunscreen.

Protect exposed areas. If you are outdoors for prolonged periods, there are areas of your body that get hit the hardest from the sun. The scalp, tip of the nose, arms, neck, and possibly your feet if they are not covered by your shoes. Make sure these areas of covered if possible; wear a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses or maybe wear shoes. If these areas are exposed, make sure you cover with sunscreen.
There are other ways you can care for you skin during the summer time.

Water is your skin’s best friend. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Carrying a water bottle can help you remember to get it all in. Water is not only a good way to clear out toxins but also great for hydrating your skin which improves its appearance.

Exfoliate your skin for a great summer glow. As the body sheds skin cells, the dead skin can set in and cause a dull appearance if not treated. When taking a shower, grab your favorite scrub and gently rub the product in a circular motion over your entire body. Then rinse clean. You can continue this routine 2-3 times per week. It’s great for your skin and is a nice selfcare routine. Below is an example of a DIY scrub

1/2 cup sugar (white or brown sugar- preferably organic)
1/2 cup oil (olive oil and coconut oil work great)
Optional: essential oils of your preference (5-7 drops)

Your skin is sensitive and beautiful. This summer, take the time to give it the attention it needs and deserves.

It's time to recharge your battery and replenish your soul.  Grab your free self-care toolkit today, and start making time for yourself.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Love Letter To My Tribe

There is nothing like the support of your tribe; a group of women who show up when least expected. Your tribe can provide support during challenging times like the loss of a loved one, a divorce or illness. They can also provide encouragement during exciting times like starting a business, getting married or changing careers. These special women in our lives; our best friends; our chosen family; our sister friends; our mentors; are the ones who make us smile a little brighter, laugh a little louder, and live a little better. They should be celebrated.

Women have often put the needs and feelings of others ahead of their own. They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders to make it a little easier for their loved ones. They often do this at the expense of their own health and happiness.

Sometimes women think it’s not possible to change the course of their lives because it’s too overwhelming. They put it on the back burner thinking they’ll get to it later. They are often too tired to make a move and too exhausted to begin focusing on areas of their lives that need work. They end up waiting for change to happen, but it never does. Well I am here to tell you that you are the change. You don’t need to wait on anyone else. You must learn to let go of guilt and the idea of being perfect, and strategically work on developing the life you want. 

I wrote my new book for women who are ready to make the changes necessary to live the life they want; for women who constantly feel strapped for time and guilty about shortchanging someone or something.

Excerpt from Take Back Your Life: A Working Mom's Guide to Work-Life Balance. Here's my love letter: 

"Thank you to the women (my tribe) who have been a part of my journey and who keep breathing life into me when I’m depleted.  You hold a piece of a puzzle that defines me and tells my story. Thank you for loving me unconditionally, for supporting me, for crying with me, pushing me beyond my comfort zone and praising me so that I could do this; live this dream to be this person. I want each of you to know that you matter. I encourage you to stay whole and to take care of yourselves, so we can continue to pay it forward."

Michelle Obama stated, “We should always have three friends in our lives-one who walks ahead, who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.”

Who makes up your tribe? Who do you turn to when you are facing a challenging situation? Who celebrates you? Identify your tribe and let them know how much they mean to you. Tag them on social media using #ILOVEMYTRIBE

Peace and Blessings,

Monday, January 1, 2018

10 Rules for Balanced Living in 2018

2018 is here. Use this New Year to focus your attention on how you want your life to look moving forward. Are you going to keep telling yourself how hard it is to change your current situation? Are you going to continue to let fear hold you back from living your best life? Or are you ready to start a new chapter with positive change and a positive attitude? If you answered yes, here’s how.

Below are my 10 rules for bringing in the New Year with balance and a new outlook on life.

1. Set boundaries

As women and mothers, you often try to please everyone and feel responsible for how others feel. Often times, this results in taking on more than you can handle. Learning to say no provides boundaries and reduces your chances of becoming overwhelmed and experiencing burnout. Learning to say no provides you with the extra time you need to recharge.

2. Create Your Own Happy

Happiness has been defined as a state of well-being where your life is meaningful and satisfying. But everyone’s definition of happiness is different. It is an emotion that is brought on by a number of different scenarios and experiences. Creating your own definition of happiness, and not comparing it to others, can lead to your success and the achievement of your goals.

3. Believe in Yourself

Believing in yourself entails thinking positive thoughts about who you are as a person and what you can achieve. Positive words can improve your mood, increase your self-confidence, and help you get through a tough day. Developing a habit of feeding positive words or statements to yourself can boost your self-confidence in the long run.

4. Create your own story

Reflect on your current situation. Do you find that you’re telling yourself the same stories? The same excuses? The same justifications? Every day you make choices about your personal life, career and relationships that are within your control. You choose whether you are going to wake up and exercise or sleep in. Whether you are going to surpass or simply meet expectations. Whether you are going to mend or surrender relationships. You choose if you are going to continue to define yourself based on past experiences. You can cultivate balance by changing your story and adopting the attitudes and choices that bring you peace.

5. Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a phenomenal way to continuously remind you of everything that you should be thankful for. It’s proven to lower stress, improve sleep, and boost your mood. Taking time each day to reflect on what you are grateful for will put life’s challenges in perspective.

6. Put selfcare first

Not taking time to take care for yourself can easily lead to burnout. Making self-care your foremost task is important for balanced living. Decide what your “me-time” looks like and then pencil it in your schedule. Without this scheduled time, you can become disconnected and irritable.

7. Live life to the fullest

It has been shown that people who choose to live in the present and not dwell in the past lead happier lives. Enjoying the journey means embracing your successes and accomplishments and those of your loved ones. It means remaining optimistic. It also means taking one day at a time, instead of stressing over the future and what you cannot possibly foresee or have control over. It means not taking the little things for granted.

8. Teach people how to treat you

You must be your own advocate for maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit. No one is going to stand up for you, like you will. Love yourself first so you can know your worth and what you deserve. If you want to remain healthy and balanced, you must expect others to treat you with the respect and consideration you deserve. You must engage in difficult conversations when others continue to take you for granted. You must teach them how you need to be treated.

9. Give back

Being in the presence of others who share the same mission can increase your sense of belonging as well as promote relationships, both personal and professional, that can last a lifetime. Giving back also gives you a sense of purpose and helps to develop a personal sense of accomplishment.

10. Awaken spiritually

“Some people awaken spiritually without ever coming into contact with any meditation technique or any spiritual teaching. They may awaken simply because they can’t stand the suffering anymore”- Eckhart Tolle
This quote demonstrates how important being connected spiritually is to improve your quality of life. Spiritual beliefs and practices are how you can connect to others. It helps people to create positive feelings and a sense of inner peace.

If you are a working mom looking for a work-life balance action plan for the New Year, my new soon to be released book Take Back Your Life: A Working Moms Guide to Work-Life Balance is the resource to have. To receive notification when the book is available sign up here

Wishing you prosperity in the New Year!
Dr. Lisa

Monday, November 27, 2017

6 Tips to Stay Balanced Through the Holidays

holiday stress, stress maangement, work life balance, holidays
The holidays are approaching fast and that means days spent shopping, family gatherings, and office parties. The hustle and the bustle of the holidays can often lead to feeling like you’re being pulled in many directions.  Just thinking about the many things, we must do to prepare for that special event can cause an overwhelming feeling. This busy time of year can also lead to irritability, emotional eating and anxiety. Below are some tips to stay stress-free and balanced during the holidays.

1. Have a schedule

Stay organized with a to-do list or calendar that allows you to list your tasks for the day. This frees your mind from having to remember every detail and allows you to check off tasks as they are completed.

2. Prioritize

When developing your to-do list, prioritize the things that are the most important to you and successfully complete those events first. It’s better to do less and be more efficient with less stress than to do more with a great deal of stress and inefficiency.

3. Get plenty of sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to poor concentration, weight gain, depression, and high blood pressure. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Stop using electronic devices at least 1-2 hours prior to your bedtime. Keep a consistent bedtime to promote better sleep. Try creating a bedtime ritual like taking a warm bath, listening to ocean waves or journaling.

4. Meditate

Meditation is easy and can be done in as little as 5 minutes to be effective. Meditation decreases stress and lowers blood pressure. It also allows you to move the clutter in your brain and help you focus.

5. Exercise

Walking is a good stress reliever and helps to keep your weight down. Schedule time to take a walk and reap the benefits. Just 15-20 minutes can reduce your stress level.

6. Let it go

It’s impossible to do everything and make everyone happy. So, decide which issues are worth your efforts and let go of those things that do not serve you during this time. The holidays should be a time for creating memories with family and friend without feeling like you must make everything perfect.

"This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!"-D.M. Dellinger

Happy Holidays!
The Balance Doctor

A Woman Who Takes Care of Herself, Teaches Her Daughter to Do The Same

“My happiness is tied to how I feel about myself. I want my girls to see a mother who takes care of herself.”- Michelle Obama When ...