Option B

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Recently I stumbled across a podcast series that intrigued me. Mind you, two years ago I had no idea what a podcast was. Well, flash forward two years, and guess what? It turns out most Podcasts are free. I was hooked almost immediately. As a Dateline and “ID Channel” addict, I quickly found every podcast on every true crime drama there was. I listened to hours of tragic stories until my kids told me that I only listen to depressing stuff and there was a lot more to learn through podcasts. So, I took their advice and, on New Year’s Day, I downloaded Oprah Winfrey’s,“Master Class” to set a new outlook. It is fascinating! Quick 25-30 minute “interviews” with people you already know through sports, movies, music, etc. Each episode features a different personality with entirely different backgrounds, talents and interests but they all have one thing in common… they went through very difficult times in their lives and had to overcome daunting challenges. None of them would have changed a thing because they all believe that if it were not for their personal trauma or setback, they would not be living their best authentic life today. Isn’t that so true? How many times did a major disappointment lead to a better opportunity? The happiest people I know do not wallow in the “could have, should have, would have” world. They persist, follow their gut, and manage to turn around situations that could have stopped them dead in their tracks. On the other hand, the people I know that cannot “catch a break” seem to be afraid to try something different to see just what may happen. They are stuck. And to me… stuck is a terrible place to be. If you want change… you must change something because there is almost always an Option B.

There is a great book written by Sheryl Sandberg called, Option B. Sheryl is the COO of Facebook and the widow of Dave Goldberg who died suddenly in 2015 in Mexico while on vacation with his family. Sheryl was afraid she and her children would never feel pure joy again. As she struggled through her devastation and grief, a wise friend said to her, “Option A is not available so let’s kick the s#%t out of Option B.” Thus, the title of her book, co-authored by her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist. The book, like Oprah Winfrey’s podcast, Master Class, explores stories of all kinds of people who have overcome challenges in their lives. They have found happiness, purpose, and meaning again. Resilience is the key word when crisis hits and we all agree that none of us is immune from crisis. We, as humans are resilient, but it requires effort and making changes. Sheryl Sandberg is a billionaire so we know money cannot buy happiness and joy or she would have simply paid for it. So there goes that theory that rich people are happier and have less to worry about. I recently saw an interview with Sheryl and she is an uplifting beacon of hope. She made a conscience effort to find that Option B. Self-care is where I think we all need to start. Finding those peaceful moments that lift us up—maybe that’s a walk on the beach, or visiting a good friend, or watching a favorite movie. What if we only surrounded ourselves with positive people and let go of those who suck the energy out of us? By “letting go,” it may just mean not letting them “in” when the negative talk begins. We can also change our inner dialog to more positive and less critical or self-defeating thoughts. Can we be more mindful of what we choose to read and what we watch on TV? I know, I know…less Dateline and more comedies for me! I recently made choices to limit my social media because I found myself frustrated by other’s opinions… I realize that this is my issue not theirs, but I also have the choice to not view those opinions. That’s what Option B is my friends, it’s the ability to know you have a choice! And if Option B doesn’t work, then I say let’s kick the s#%t out of Option C.

 

Mount Hope

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

There’s a bridge in Rhode Island that connects Portsmouth to Bristol where my son attended college. I don’t like bridges. I’d rather a tunnel any day. This bridge is the scariest bridge I have ever driven on. It barely has sides and its old, shaky, steep, very high and at least 4 miles long. Although my son says I exaggerate and it’s more like Continue reading

Don’t let the Holidays send you to the Junk yard!


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

It’s very hard during the busy holidays to keep up a wellness routine. There are a million things going on and for most of us the first thing we give up is our commitment to ourselves. It’s unlikely many of us will be able to meet hefty wellness goals in the month of December but I suggest we should try to maintain as much as we can. Continue reading

Beat the Winter Blues


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

This month I want to talk about something besides fitness and nutrition. Something that is very real to me—Seasonal Affective Disorder (alleged in my case). Yes, I am SAD! The summer is over and I am not happy! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the fall and the holidays and even a good snowstorm, but tell that to my mind. It disagrees. It just doesn’t spark as well as it does in the summer. I have to push harder to stay motivated. That’s key for me… finding a good routine and surrounding myself with happy personalities. Working with the folks we serve is a boost for my alleged Seasonal Affective Disorder, which by the way is self-diagnosed. Continue reading

Dispelling Food Myths


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

If you are anything like me, you have tried all the short cuts to get to your ideal image of what you want to look like. You drank liters of Diet Pepsi, replaced solid foods with Slimfast, or bought into the Atkins Diet, eating all fats and no carbs. Despite your efforts, none of it seemed to work. Why? Because it’s unreasonable to think that eliminating an entire food group—or worse eating only from a specific food group—would be possible to maintain for life. Unless you are a dedicated vegan or diagnosed with celiac….you can enjoy all foods. But here are the important words….only in moderation. You are what you eat and the massive food industry Continue reading

Getting Started


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

The number one question I get asked about wellness is, “how do I get started.” It’s daunting to read all the trends on this top and plow through all the information and options out there–from health clubs to studios to private trainers and outdoor meet-up clubs. My best answer is to this question is, “what is realistic for your lifestyle.” Let’s be real… if you hate to run as much as I do, then don’t choose that exercise regimen because you are not going to stick with it. There must be some activity you did as a kid or teenager that you liked; start there! Continue reading

Down on the Farm

By Mary Stanley, PR and
Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

On the last day of February, as the mercury in the thermometer inched its way up to 60 degrees, we couldn’t help but to think about the upcoming spring season and look forward to seeing the daffodils and crocuses that would soon pop their heads up from the ground. We could certainly feel spring in the air. Continue reading

The Candy Man Comes to NEV


By Mary Stanley, PR and
Marketing Coordinator, 

When the weather is cold and the nights are long, there’s no better—or more productive way—to pass the time than rehearsing for a magical production like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

If this show is anything like The Wizard of Oz performance that New England Village put on in March 2016, you had better reserve your tickets now. Continue reading

The Promise of Tomorrow


By Mary Stanley, PR and
Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

As we welcome in the new year, we cannot help but to look back on 2017 and to acknowledge some of the more profound moments that occurred this past year. For instance, we were selected to be a beneficiary of FundFare at Whalburger’s, a fundraising event hosted by the restaurant chain. And what an event it was! New England Village raised the most money that evening of any nonprofit organization that has participated in the restaurant’s Continue reading