Sailing Advice- Are you Pro- or Re- “Active”


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

As we enter the dog days of August, I decided to look back to the last time I felt active and in control of my routine. That day was March 11th for me. It was the day my routine began to change. Many, like myself, rely on a routine for well-being. We like to feel actively involved with our daily life. In the dictionary, active is defined as “engage, participate, do energetic work.” I do feel engaged and I certainly do energetic work and I am participating, so why do I also feel slightly off-kilter? I speak with a lot of people who feel the same way. Some feel it even stronger because, like me, they were already a little eccentric to begin with so, we are super-duper off-kilter right now. However, I see a big difference in how people are handling the lifestyle we are temporarily experiencing. People are either being proactive or reactive. And that small prefix—re or pro—can help with the balance we are all looking for. It’s called even-keeled and I miss it!

So what is the difference between proactive and reactive? Imagine a sailboat on a beautiful day bobbing along, with sails billowing and a light wind. Everything is in balance, even-keeled. Suddenly, in the distance you see dark clouds and the seas start to churn up a bit. A proactive sailor would formulate a plan on how to address what appears to be a storm ahead, Maybe adjust the sails and change direction. Maybe lower the sails down, turn on the motor, turn around and head for the nearest harbor. This would be my choice! Or, maybe, if there was no other choice, lower the sails, put on lifejackets, turn on the engine, batten down the hatches, and ride through the storm as safely as possible. A reactive sailor would ignore the clouds and hope the weather would clear before they got that far. But then have to figure out a plan quickly, when the skies opened up and the seas swelled before the boat capsized. A reactive sailor may not think to put the life jacket on until it was too late. News flash—it doesn’t work if you are not wearing it. We cannot outrun every storm, but if we do decide to sail into it when we have no choice…wouldn’t a proactive plan be great? At the very least, a life jacket.

Which active are you? Proactive people confront a situation. Reactive people tend to wait for the event to happen. I am not saying one is better than the other and I actually know nothing about sailing, if truth be told, but it does seem that making a plan before the event happens saves a lot of stress and anxiety.  If you are feeling off-kilter already, adding extra stress and anxiety doesn’t seem like the way to go.

Well-being is all about being proactive. You feel that “Covid-19” pounds creeping on…you might want to make a plan on how to get some control of it. Are you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out? Proactive planning on how to find time to de-stress may be better than hitting the wall and jumping off the boat into the deep blue sea. Catch yourself making excuses for unhealthy choices? Blaming it on the Covid? We all do that from time to time, but then we get proactive and get back on course. A good sailor charts a course.

So, as we approach these dog days of August, how do you see yourself sailing forth? Proactively charting a course, planning for the potential stormy day but thoroughly enjoying the calm sunny ones? Will you have a lifejacket ready in case it gets a little choppy? Sunglasses if it gets too bright? A harbor to head toward if the seas churn up? Or, will you just react and decide in the middle of the maelstrom? I hope the stormiest days are behind us, but I will still be tying a dinghy to my sailboat with 2 oars in case!

Deadhead


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Depending upon who you are, the word deadhead will likely conjure up an image of the Grateful Dead, an airplane or a garden. For me, it’s a garden. And if you’re wondering how I am going to intertwine deadhead with wellness, hang tight because that is exactly what I am going to do.

I am not a very good gardener and I do not have a green thumb. I bought a house 2 years ago that has nothing but a garden for the front lawn. Someone planted it very thoughtfully and now it is my job to take care of it. I water daily and I deadhead frequently. This deadheading thing I learned is how you keep the plants healthy and allow them to continue to bloom all summer. You cut the old blooms off and that makes way for a fresh new flower. It makes sense. Old blooms are dry, and they try to steal all the nutrients and water from the plant. Plus they make the plant look terrible. Kind of like old unhealthy habits. How can we be our best self if we don’t water and deadhead ourselves? How can a new habit form if the old ones are draining us? Wellness is a deliberate choice to find healthy habits and let go of old unhealthy ways. This can start with something as simple as practicing patience when you are frustrated or as challenging as learning a new physical activity like kayaking. If you have been thinking about a new habit or letting go of an old one… don’t wait—start deadheading now and watch the new blossoms appear.

Have you ever been on a plane and noticed a crew member in full uniform sitting in a seat with all the other passengers? Well, it’s likely they are deadheading! This is how pilots and flight attendants get to their next location to fly their scheduled trip. They are in uniform because they are getting paid but they are not working. They get to sit in a seat and be a passenger for a change. It’s a “time out” of sorts. I think we all need to do that more often. Take a time-out. What if we took a step back and really observed our lifestyles, our jobs, our recreation, our talents, our challenges? What if we “deadheaded” and got to our next scheduled location with a fresh view on what we wanted for ourselves. What can we improve? What skills can we learn so that we can meet personal goals? What assistance should we ask for and what can we do ourselves? For an airline crew, the responsibility is heavy when they are working so the time deadheading is a re-set. I like to think that this mirrors wellness. When we are “doing life,” we are working hard, so taking a “time out” can get us back on track and set us up for better choices and attainable goals. We may not be getting paid to take that “time out” deadheading, but we are paying ourselves back in a different currency – optimal wellbeing, and that is priceless.

In the early 70’s, the progressive rock band “The Grateful Dead” had a group of followers that went from concert to concert. These fans became known as Deadheads and you’d be surprised at some of the well-known Deadheads that are in high places in the USA, even right here at NEV! These fans formed a community and had a philosophy to come together and be as one.  If you had a need, another Deadhead would fill that void whether it was a car part or the shirt off their back. “Here I belong” was the comfort mantra these Deadheads shared as well as their love for the music. This is all about wellness. A sense of belonging, a community, sharing a love of something beyond yourself. If you have no idea where to start on a wellness journey, then this is where you start. You find a community of people that share what you enjoy. You find your own Deadheads. Deadhead hikers, Deadhead Knitters, Deadhead Drum Circle, Deadhead Yogi’s, Deadhead Cyclers, Deadhead Birdwatchers… you get it… find your people!

Wellbeing comes in so many forms and like a garden, it’s never the same for two people. You can start by deadheading old habits, taking a time out while you deadhead to your next location or find your own Deadhead community.  It’s up to you—   that path is for your steps alone. – Jerry Garcia

Catch a Wave


By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

One of my favorite things to do when I visit the west coast is to get up early and watch the surfers off Manhattan Beach Pier. It’s been the same group, more or less, for the past few years and it’s been fascinating to watch their techniques and strategies. Two years ago, in June, I watched a young newbie surfer girl learning the ropes. She would see a potential wave, Continue reading

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 Continue reading

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

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