For this week's post, I have the honor and privilege of handing over the keyboard to a guest writer--Emily Harbacheck. Emily is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Whole Health Educator and Patient Advocate here in North Iowa. She recently established a private practice called Mood Food Wellness and is in the process of joining the BE WELLness Collaborative Partners Network. Emily will be leading her second Healthy Living Education class this Thursday evening at Simply Nourished--Spring Into Life Mindful Eating Workshop. BE WELLness has made this opportunity available as a FREE workshop for ALL attendees. Starts at 7:30PM. Simply Nourished is located at 18 N. 3rd Street in Clear Lake.
Some of the services Emily offers through her practice include:
A very exciting feature of Emily's practice is that because she is a Licensed Counselor she is capable of billing insurance for counseling services. She currently accepts these insurance companies for payment. Self pay is also available for her services. To learn more about Emily's Approach, click here. Still have questions? You can reach Emily by phone at 641-525-0514 or through her website's contact form.
On the blog this week, Emily will be sharing about 'Spring Cleaning' our lives--quite fitting since Tuesday will usher in the First Day of Spring!
It is time for Spring! If you are like me, this is the time of year you start Spring cleaning your house. It's so refreshing to open my windows, blast my favorite uplifting tunes and feel the sun shining in while the birds chirp and sing their own beautiful songs. I just love the Spring air that comes through the windows to cleanse the stale air left from winter. This is definitely one of my favorite times of year. It is a time when life gets replenished, renewed and restored--the old winter blues leave, and new spring motivation arrives.
I believe this is also the perfect time to declutter and detoxify our lives. This means getting rid of everything that no longer serves us well, and bringing in new things that will help us achieve our goals and experience our desires. For some of us, our health goals have been sitting on the shelf for quite some time. For others, the winter blues made it difficult to maintain our best of intentions. I know for many, this is the time of year when healthier eating goals get set, exercising starts, vacations are planned, and time is set aside to think about all the fun things that could be done outside in the upcoming months. As we think about this time of Spring, there are many areas of our lives that would benefit from a good “Spring Cleaning.”
Regarding detoxifying our lives, specifically, there are three primary steps involved in the process.
Step 1- Assessment
This means taking an inventory of our lives as a whole. We need to know what is in our lives before we can determine what is serving us well and what is not. It is much like spring cleaning our home. We take an assessment of what we have. Common areas of our lives to assess include: career, family and friends, significant other/romance, fun and recreation, finances, personal growth and spirituality, physical environment, and health.
Step 2- Evaluation
It is during this step that we make an evaluation of what we discovered in Step 1. We may ask ourselves: Which area of our life is least satisfying? Which area is most satisfying? We can rate each area on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being least satisfactory and 10 most satisfactory. We may also ask: What is going well in each area? What is not going well? What change (if any) do I want to see in this area of my life? What do I need to let go of? What do I need more of? What is most helpful/least helpful when it comes to this area?
Step 3- Take Action
In this final step, we pick one area of our life that we want to begin to make a change to, and we start by selecting one tiny step to take toward that change. We choose an action that we can do consistently. It is the small steps that we take daily that lead to big results.
One key component that we must consider when detoxifying our lives is our state of mind. Our thoughts are what drive our behavior. Many times we get tempted to focus on our behavior and think change begins there. Over time, we experience frustration as our best of intentions do not last long-term. We find ourselves starting and stopping multiple diets, exercise regimens, or other helpful behaviors to support our lives. We wonder to ourselves “What is wrong with me?” The key to finding long-lasting change is in our thoughts. We can begin by asking ourselves “When I think about changing this particular area of my life, what do I think about?” A good exercise is to sit down and do a 1-Minute Brain Dump. Set a timer for one minute and write down all of the thoughts that come into your mind. This is a good starting point that can help us to open up our awareness to what is going on behind the scenes. Our thoughts are much like the crew that works behind the scenes of a play. If we aren’t aware of what is going on behind the scenes of our lives/behaviors, then we may be fooled into thinking there is something wrong with the way in which we went about changing the behavior. We are left feeling frustrated and hopeless. Keep this in mind: whenever you feel stuck between where you currently are and where you want to be, there is a good chance that how you are thinking is keeping you stuck. What we put into our mind is directly related to the output, or behavior.
Before you attempt to start another diet, do another detox plan, start an exercise plan, etc., take the time to detox your mind. The more we focus and become aware of what is in our minds, the better we can adjust our thoughts to help support the behavior change(s) we want to experience in our lives.
So grab your 3 Step Process, March upstairs into your mind, and let the Spring Cleaning begin!
I'd love to meet you in person this Thursday at Simply Nourished. As Ashley mentioned, I'll be leading a FREE Spring Into Life Mindful Eating Workshop at 7:30PM. Simply Nourished is located at 18 N. 3rd Street in Clear Lake. I'm excited to be partnering with the BE WELLness team to bring wellness within reach here in North Iowa.