what works: wellness

People often ask me how I do what I do. Like many of you I am juggling (too) many responsibilities and commitments. I am a full time faculty member, where I do advisement and teach; I am a mental health counselor and the director of my clinical practice; I provide clinical consultation via video conference to mental health professionals all over the world; and I frequently do training and presentations– not to mention I am a mom of two teenagers and have a partner, these relationships require my time and energy to maintain health. My wellness is dependent on the nuanced  interrelationship of giving and receiving.

I can share with you how I do what I do, but first I have to tell you that sometimes I DON’T do what I do to keep myself and my relationships healthy and then I need to reset (I am resetting now actually). The easiest way for me to share this is by teasing out a few broad categories and then talking to you about them in a more specific way.

Time Management- In order to keep my busy and varied schedule straight everything goes on my calendar. Yes, everything. What I mean by that is that all of my professional and personal appointments are logged. Any family commitments including events and including when my kids need rides to and from places. I also put major tasks that have deadlines on my calendar so that I am allocating time to complete the task. I add any phone calls that need to be made and even errands like dropping off dry cleaning or going to the bank. I also allot time for what keeps me able to do what I do, the things that energize me rather then take my energy. I block off time to meditate (x2 a day), lunch, workouts and reading. I even sometimes mark off a block of time with the word “NO” to make concrete and promise to myself that I am going to do what I want during that time or not do anything at all. My calendar is non-negotiable. If, for example, I put in time for a yoga class and there is a request for me to do a conference call during that time, yoga it is. This needs to be a policy if you are to keep your time sacred and yourself well.

What goes in- When I eat like crap, I feel like crap. I pay close attention to what I put in my body (I follow a plant-based diet). There are, of course, exceptions. I am just coming off a vacation where I over-indulged in sugary food and alcohol. When I returned from vacation, the sugar had impacted me so I was craving more and more sugar and I was also worn out and needed caffeine. I am on day 4 of a 21 day cleanse and reset because I felt like crap and that is intimately connected to what I was eating and drinking. I can tell you I feel better already and I will keep you posted on my progress. If you are interested in what exactly I am doing here, contact me drmully@gmail.com The basics are this, no sugar, no alcohol, no processed foods, no caffeine and YES to lots and lots of veggies and clean protein sources.

I used to think taking vitamins and supplements was a silly waste of money until I started taking some (vegans need B-12 and my vitamin D level was super low). I felt healthier and had tangible results like better complexion, healthier hair and more energy. Turns out there is more and more evidence coming out about nutrition and mental health and wellness. In future posts I can share more about what I take and why. You can explore yourself by clicking on the link in the next line and I would be happy to advise. Plus, if you sign up for a Shop.com account (it’s totally free!), you can get cash back for taking supplements! What could be better than that? Just click Sign In > register for a new account.

What comes out- As you know wellness is not just about what you eat. It’s about balancing and honoring the complexity of who you are and how you thrive. I feel best when I am doing so what comes out is vital to my wellness. I need to move, usually in the form of exercise. I pay attention to what feels right so it can be anything from running to yoga to crossfit. Today I am stuck in the house for day two of a nasty winter storm, so no formal workout (I am not one of those people who can workout at home), but I will do some sets of push-ups, air squats, planks, and wall sits because it makes me feel good and balanced.

I also need to create. I am writing to you, which feels good and nourishes my creativity. I also love to cook (my favorite cookbooks are the ThugKitchen series and Forks over Knives) and ‘veganize” recipes (Interested- lmk). When I don’t get to “do” I can feel my relationship with wellness and balance get out of sync.

Of course there’s much more to wellness then what I have shared here, and there certainly is an individual aspect to it. We are way too complex to believe that one model of wellness and balance fits all. I thought this might be a nice way to start a conversation with you and share with you my process as I reset and get back to the wellness plan that works for me. I am very invested in assisting you and have added wellness consults to the clinical services I offer (and there is no charge for the initial 30 minute session). Looking forward to engaging in the wellness process with you. All done for now, I need to join my family on the couch to watch a few episodes of Bob’s Burgers and laugh, laugh, laugh!



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