50/50/50 in Times of Change.


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

As the daughter of a Marine, I have been in training my whole life to be as resilient as possible. I can safely say that the skills I honed through mini drills as a kid are guiding me and I am doing pretty well navigating these uncharted waters as we practice distancing and sheltering-in. I pride myself on resiliency. But like all humans, I crack sometimes. Today I had a mini-break and I let a situation get the best of me. I didn’t follow my own rule! I call it the 50/50/50 rule. There is zero science to my rule and mathematically, it does not add up, but it works for me! To navigate life’s changes, you have to give it your all…it’s 50% eating healthy, 50% exercise and 50% using coping skills for stress triggers. That’s right—it takes 150% effort to find your resiliency through the unknowns of a pandemic, a divorce, a job change, etc. This is no time to toss in the towel and use the pandemic or any other life change as an excuse. However, it is also a time to give yourself a little break and this is where the 50/50/50 rule takes shape:

50% Healthy Eating: We all know what healthy vs. unhealthy is. However, we also crave comfort foods when we are feeling off course. Most of us are not going to tackle a diet right now. In fact, we’ll probably snack more often than usual. We just need a balance. For every plate I make, I try to have 50% of it covered with a fruit or vegetable. So cheese and crackers on one side and grapes on the other. Chips on one side, salsa on the other. Pretzels and hummus on one side- raw veggies on the other. You can easily get 5 plus servings of fruits and vegetable a day and folks… that is how we build up our stronger immune systems! Not only good for fighting off illness, but good for healthy minds and brains!  And of course water, water, water! Tip: this only works if you eat the fruits and veggies – they cannot be a decoration or garnish. 🙂

50% Exercise: It’s hard enough when the health centers or the walking /bike trails are open to motivate ourselves to exercise. So what do we do during this current pandemic? We give ourselves a little break. Repeat…little. I have committed to doing 50% of what I normally do just to carry me through until I can get back to my wellness routine. So as a person who exercised an hour daily… I have cut it back to 30 minutes a day. I walk outdoors when I can. I google up Pilates and yoga on my TV and follow along. I add squats and lunges into my housework chores. I get outside and do yardwork. I can manage this goal and stick with it. Exercise is simply movement. And as long as you’re moving, your body is staying strong. Strong bodies equal strong minds! Strong minds handle stress better.

50% Coping Skills: Stress happens. This is where most of us crack. Everything is coming at us at once and we react, as I did this morning, by thinking we need a solution to everything at once. Well, that isn’t happening these days. The strategy that works for me is to take all that is coming at me and reduce it to 50%. Yup. I let the other 50% go on the back burner so I can stay focused on the 50% that I may be able to find a solution to. With daily changes, it’s impossible to have all the answers and often the answers change anyway. Meditate or pray on what is most important and focus your energy there. Sometimes, the other 50% you put on the back burner gets solved while it’s simmering. If anxiety gets the best of you, try taking some time for yourself to journal, communicate, research, meditate, listen to music, do a virtual museum tour, watch a good movie or take a nap.

Resiliency is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It takes 150%. This is a good time to slow down and give yourself a little break so you can stay strong and finish the course with triumph.

 

 

Humor is Health


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Do you have a “most embarrassing moment?” You know what I mean…a story that wasn’t so funny in the moment, but looking back it is rather comical! Now is a good time to share those funny stories! Laughing at ourselves is key to our health, both physically and mentally. And when we are telling our stories and laughing at ourselves, those around us laugh, too. Jokes are fun. Riddles are fun. But a truly funny embarrassing moment story comes with a visual… a set-up… a moment, and then the end result. Continue reading

The Lion and the Lamb


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

March is an unpredictable month. It can be mild like the lamb or wild like the lion. It’s called the windy month. One of my first very clear memories of my childhood took place in March. It was a windy day and I was riding my bike through my neighborhood feeling free and wild—more like a lion then a lamb. Peddling along, not a care in the world… just feeling so free and happy. That’s my version of the story. My parents will tell you I was six, I did not have permission to be out riding my bike. I did not have permission to ever cross the busy road to go to the candy store and I had no money to buy candy anyway. We all agree that a police officer took me home, which is likely why I remember it so well. That day I was a lion! I was an adventure seeker. As I grew older and learned some lessons and paid some consequences, I was also able to be a lamb and accept this softer side of myself.

Life is like the month of March. It will at times be mild like the lamb and it will get wild like the lion. Navigating it with health and wellness as a focus can balance out those two animals. The lamb would suggest self-care and down-time. The lion would push for activity and adventure. If I knew that my adventure to the candy store would end up with a policeman and worried parents and some kind of punishment, would I have dared to take that ride? The lion in me took over! You see, as kids we are not so afraid to make a leap and learn from it. We take dance and gymnastic lessons. We join little league and soccer teams. We jump into every opportunity that we are offered, from boy and girl scouts to learning how to swim or sail a boat. We are lions! And yet we also know how to get enough sleep. We form strong friendships and bonds. Those bonds remain strong for some of us our whole lives. We make ourselves #1. We know what we like and what we do not like. We nap, rest or just sit and watch the butterflies or clouds pass by. We say no when we are overwhelmed or tired. We are lambs.

If January is for resolutions, then maybe March is for goals. What does the lion in you want for yourself? Adventure? A new fitness routine? More activity? A new outdoor hobby? Maybe learn a new skill? To attack a long term goal with a baby step? Change your lifestyle or unnecessary habits? We have the information. It’s called Google and Youtube. It’s a matter of finding your own inner “lion” and getting started.

And the lamb…what does the lamb in you need for self-care? A yoga class? Meditation? Learning to speak up when your plate is too full? Asking for help? Re-charging? Stopping and looking at the beauty as spring unfolds around you? Eating well? Making sleep a priority? Making new friendships and bonds? Letting go of things that no longer matter? The lamb is already at work in all of us, but we have to listen and set aside the time to carry through with our inner-self and its messages.

To me, the lion lives outside of the self and urges us to try new things and find adventure and spirit; the lamb lives inside and guides us intuitively towards calmness and peace. Together, they balance us out so we can be healthy, vibrant, joyful and productive. We can share as well as receive. And if life gets too windy, then it’s always OK to take a day or two and be the turtle! No worries—the lion or the lamb will always nudge you back out to play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a Breather


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Well we did it…Holidays are over. For most of us, that means we are now in waiting mode. Waiting for spring or summer. Hibernating like a bear. If we had a clicker, we could fast forward; but, unfortunately, until H.G. Wells truly invents a time machine, we are stuck in the moment, which I am here to tell you IS NOT A BAD THING! This quieter season can be a good time Continue reading

ReSOLUTIONS Anyone?


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Welcome to the year 2020! Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Me too. So… how’s that been going? Be honest! Are you nailing it every year? Have you even just once followed through on a resolution? Would your nose grow like Pinocchio if I asked you in person?

Sorry if I sound sarcastic, but I’ve been doing this New Year’s resolution thing a very long time and I have come to the conclusion that it means nada, nothing, zilch. It’s more like Continue reading

Finding the Holiday Miracles


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

I made a decision this year. I decided not to put up a Christmas Tree. Then came a wave of guilt. I knew I had to make peace with this choice, so I started to think back on holidays of the past, like in the movie, A Christmas Carol. And, you know what… with the exception of maybe 6 of Continue reading

One-Day Pass


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

It’s that time again. Everywhere you look, there is advice on how to get through the holidays without gaining weight, getting run down, overdoing, feeling blue, etc. And, it all starts with Thanksgiving. The feast of the year. You’ve heard it all before…portion control, moderation, skip the pie, exercise before, take a walk after…blah, blah, blah…. Continue reading

Raise Your Hand


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Think back to your first day of school every year. The teacher would call your name and you would raise your hand and say, “here.” You waited impatiently to hear your name called. Hand ready to shoot up. You were on that special list. Being “here” was comforting. You belonged. Our whole life is based on being “here.” So I ask you this…is being “here” the same as being present? It’s something to think about as you go through your day. Continue reading

Easy Way/Hard Way?

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

As early as I can remember the phrase, “easy way/hard way?” was a daily question for my brothers, sisters and me. Don’t worry, I am not about to share a hardship- not at all… it’s a pleasant memory because it was what our Dad asked us nightly when it was time for bed. We’d all be in our pajamas and when it was your turn for bed my Dad Continue reading

Don’t Buy into it!


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

As a Wellness Program Manager and fitness enthusiast, I spend a lot of time researching the best methods to stay healthy and the science that supports the trends. Guess what… the science doesn’t support the trends that we are buying into! In fact, many of the newest “health” trends are Continue reading