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Blooming Blog

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is a day to cherish all those relationships that are important in our lives. Studies and anecdotal data have long supported the critical role that close relationships play in enhancing the quality of our lives, even contributing to the ability to live longer! The impact of stress is reduced by socializing with others. And the interaction may be as simple as a phone call or text, or as involved as attending a weekend-long conference or music festival. Exercising with a friend is another great example of accelerating the benefits of two different kinds of healthy activities. Exercise alone is a proven source of reducing stress, but if you are able to exercise with a friend, the benefits increase. You are more likely to exercise consistently with a buddy, and you get more stress reduction by talking while exercising.

Even if your valentine is a companion animal rather than a human, you both can still benefit from spending time together. Researchers have looked at the value of this bond in terms of decreased blood pressure and found that the simple act of petting an animal lowers stress factors for both you and your animal friend.

Take time today to cultivate the relationships that are important to you, and everyone will end up feeling better. Spread a little love  It’s good for your heart and soul! Read More 
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New Year's Resolutions?

New year, new you? Many people make New Year’s resolutions; however end up feeling disappointed soon after New Year’s Day. The key to lasting change is to make small goals that will build over time that help you maintain the change. For most people, maintaining the new behavior long enough to make it a habit is the hard part. In order to be successful, you have to be aware of your behavior by making conscious choices instead of returning to automatic responses.

Awareness gives you a choice point and puts you back in control. As you’re making these changes, remember to be kind to yourself. Making change is hard work. If you engage in the new behavior one out of seven times, that is progress! Read More 
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Holiday Stress

The holidays can be such a special and stressful time. Unfortunately the stress often tips the balance, making it hard to enjoy special events and people. Try paring down your list of “should” to help you be in the moment and freely experience the holidays. Changing one thing can produce major results. Maybe you can have a cookie exchange instead of feeling that you have to make all the treats simply because you always have.

Even small changes may require a shift in how you view yourself, and that can create stress too. Care consideration of the changes you choose to make, and the possible consequences, can be just the preparation needed to be successful.

Now go and enjoy the holidays! Read More 
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Thankfulness in Everyday Life

Now that we have officially recovered from Thanksgiving, it’s time to settle back into normal routines. I would like to challenge you to include extending the themes of simple gratitude and thankfulness for the people and pleasures of daily life as part of your routine. What did you find yourself feeling thankful about during the recent holidays?

Although uncertainty abounds in our lives, how you choose to focus your attention can help you manage anxiety and uncertainty.  Read More 
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Fall Nights

Have you noticed a difference in the amount of daylight you are seeing?

Sadly, the nights are coming earlier. It is that time of year, and many people struggle with some degree of SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, with the longer nights. This phenomenon is very much a byproduct of where you live. People near the equator rarely report the winter “blues.”  Read More 
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Managing Stress

Now that fall schedules are well under way, it’s time to reclaim a little control by taking a look at self-care and coping strategies. Just getting out on the road during rush hour can have a negative impact on your mood and elevate your stress levels, but what choice do you have?  Read More 
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Nurture Your Creativity by Doing Nothing!

Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

Isn’t this the most delightful quote? What I love about it is the permission it grants to “do nothing,” not often a perspective relished by modern women. In our society, productivity is clearly more valued than idle time. However, creativity theorists also support the value of idle time in the creative process. Many major discoveries have been recognized after periods of time away from work. Of course, hard work in your creative endeavor is also needed in order to move forward, but knowing when to step back is also a necessary component. This is that “aha” moment that may be familiar to you as you recall a person’s name later in the day after being unable to retrieve it in the moment or unexpectedly solved a vexing problem.

The need for down-time is a new habit that I would encourage you to develop. Not only is this a good practice for your overall health and well-being, but it can also nurture creativity.

Go ahead and take a moment or an afternoon just for you!
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How is that done, you may ask? How do you keep going when you feel uncertain or tired?

Keeping up one’s energy is truly a matter of staying connected to your own creative direction. Granted, it doesn’t have to be what most people traditionally identify as creative. That connection can take the form of daily problem-solving or daydreaming.

Daydreaming and daily problem-solving both share the quality of distracting you from obligations and usual responsibilities. Having a bit of space throughout your day offers a moment to breathe. Stopping for a few minutes can revitalize your energy. Exercise, meditation, or sitting down with a cup of tea offer a break from typical daily responsibilities, and can help you to re-center yourself on what’s important to you, as well as those around you.

By honoring your own needs, you are engaging in self-care, which can be a challenge for many women who traditionally display a tendency to put others first. Put yourself first by treating yourself as you would a friend and you have taken the first step toward energizing yourself. Giving yourself permission to daydream - not to have every moment of every day scheduled - opens the door to increased energy and creativity.

Creativity thrives in the absence of over-scheduled days. This is part of the reason that free time and play are so important for children. The experience of feeling bored often occurs just prior to a creative breakthrough which energizes you! However if over-scheduled, you never have the “space” in which to feel bored. Those who have never learned how to manage the frustration of feeling bored have not had the chance to direct that stored energy toward a satisfying or creative activity.

One basic strategy to keep moving forward when you feel drained is to break your activities into smaller tasks. Accomplishing these small successes energizes you and helps you redefine yourself as capable and confident which always contributes to positive outcomes, creating a cycle of success instead of stagnation. Bloom where you’re planted and energize yourself!
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Energize yourself!

Spring is a time of rejuvenation – who can’t help but feel energized by all the beautiful flowers and trees in bloom at this time of year? And the concept of rejuvenation applies to your own creative process as well. It can be all too easy to become distracted or sidetracked by leaky faucets, the laundry, or even a leisurely stroll.  Read More 
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What Made You Smile as a Child?

I recently attended the funeral of a long-time family friend – someone who had known me all my life. Reminiscing with their daughter at the visitation and after the funeral brought back many childhood memories and shared experiences. Those discussions also sparked the question, what made you smile – as a child? And how is that important in our lives as adults?  Read More 
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