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I'm Bringing Silly Back Into My Life

Kelly Bos

PLAY, FUN, AND BEING SILLY IS IMPORTANT TO OUR WELLNESS AND OUR RELATIONSHIPS

Being the adultier adult has some pretty un-fun bits to it, and it is important to find the fun. When the negative outweighs the positive in your life, something has to change. Perhaps your interactions with your husband are at an unfortunate ratio of 40 negative interactions to 15 positive ones; this is not a happy balance. I can feel it when my ratio is off with my husband, children, or even life in general. These are times when there is too much work and too little play.

John Gottman says that balance theory of relationships can predict the likelihood of divorce. This is done with the magic ratio - a stable relationship has 5 times as many positive interactions between partners as negative ones. If you want to increase the positive, consider increasing the fun.

There is something magical when I truly pursue silly fun, like when I jump on the back of the toboggan with my kids, sing in the car, laugh at nothing with my toddler, and dance in the living room with abandon. In these times, I let myself relax and get lost in the moment. It's rejuvenating for the soul...

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Are You On Track for Your 2017 Goals?

Kelly Bos

A GREAT TIME TO CHECK IN

January is past the half way mark and it is a great time to check in with our goals. Due to the annual tradition of New Year resolutions, this part of the year becomes a time of reflection and a time to focus on self-improvement. The statistics aren't great on the whole process, but reflection and goal setting are always useful practices especially when done with some grace. To do this, hold onto your goals, the dates and the journey a little loosely, accepting that change takes time and just commit to learning and striving to move forward. If you feeling in a slump because you have been rigid in your goals and the outcome, consider changing this with the tips below. And hey, it is only mid January and we can definitely make a come back, the whole year is still ahead of us! 

Here are some ways to get back on track with your goals:

Reality Check : First, make sure that your goals are realistic. Maybe you haven't been consistently achieving the daily hour planned for learning spanish. That is okay, it might just be that the hour is not realistic with your schedule and current work demands. This is information gained that you can use to make some adjustments.

Goal Gear: Whether your goals are for your career, fitness or general wellness, there are gadgets, planners, books, and apps that can help. What are you reading to inspire? What scheduling app have you been meaning to download? Would a fitness tracker help your progress? I know that my Garmin Vivofit Christmas gift is still waiting for me to program it (tomorrow, I swear). Here is a useful list of items from yoga teacher and plant based recipe guru Nicole MacPherson to help with your fitness goals. Also, grab a planner to help with all things goal related. I am really enjoying my Passion Planner this year but there are so many styles out there, here are a few great ones I found for last year. Find a fit and invest in some simple gadgets that can help you succeed.

 

 

Make it Enjoyable: If you aren't enjoying the steps planned to acheive your targets, change it up. If that exercise class is more groan than gain, find another one. Get your goals met in a new and fun way. Nutritionist and health nut Jason Spilberg says that "An easy and effective way to get all the good foods that may not taste great into your diet is to throw them into a smoothie.” And if it doesn't taste good, he finds a pineapple makes anything taste good. So find the proverbial pineapple for your plan!

Who is in Your Corner: It is so hard to meet challenges alone. Find some support by bringing someone else in for accountability or guidance to meet your targets. It could be a friend or family member but consider getting a counsellor, a coach or a trainer if you are finding it difficult to stick to your resolutions. Business Coach Ross Blaine states that “everyone needs someone to give them a new perspective on issues both business and personal. Successful people will be the first to recognize that they need feedback that is practical and applicable.” 

Evaluate your Practices: A good routine is going to help you reach goals. Start with the basics making wellness and health a priority. You will be better able to reach goals when you have your sleep, nutrition and fitness on track. A great morning routine can also be useful. I often suggest clients try morning pages, a great way to process and plan.

 

As you evaluate your goals for this year, remember to be kind to yourself. Getting to your goals might only require a little tweak here and there and a good amount of grace. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Life is a journey, not a destination". We can always evaluate, adjust and find new and more beneficial ways to journey towards these aims. 

How to Beat the January Blues and Avoid Having a Month-Long "Monday"

Kelly Bos

www.pixabay.com

12 STRATEGIES TO GET OVER THE DREARIEST MONTH IN THE CALENDAR

It certainly comes in with a bang, but for many, January can be a difficult time.  And despite the party that kicks it off, many of us, parents especially, can barely keep our eyes open to ring it in. January can be a let down. In his post January is the Worst Month of the Year  writer Nathan Macintosh said, "January is also the first month of the year, which really just makes it the year's Monday.” Macintosh hilariously writes about Monday mornings that are cold and dark and hard to get up to and says “Those Mondays are awful. And that's January, January is one straight month of that day. It's a thirty-one day Monday.”

How can January compare with the wonder, lead up and excitement contained in December? January is a cold month, a dark month followed by a few more months of the cold and dark.Today's medical insight recognizes a condition called SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a type of depression that corresponds with the changes in the seasons, shorter days and changes in weather that leads to people feeling lower during the fall and winter months. The diagnosis has specific diagnostic requirements but many of us can still relate to feeling a bit lower at this time of year.

January is also known in Hollywood as the "dump month"...

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7 Festive Brain Boosts

Kelly Bos

GOOD NEWS, YOU ARE PROBABLY ALREADY DOING THEM!

'Tis the season for merriment, connection, reflection and celebrations and this focus is very good for our well being and specifically for our brain. Here are a few brain boosts you might not have associated with the holidays.

1. Pass the Cranberries:

Cranberries are chalk full of anti-oxidants, so yummy and definitely a common presence in holiday treats, Christmas dinner sides and it is a great herbal tea to cosy up with at the fire. Cranberries are well known as the drink of choice for those doubled over from UTI's but they are also fantastic for the brain with studies showing positive affects for post stroke sufferers and that the ursolic acid, a specific compoud found in cranberries, may protect brain cells from injury and degeneration. 

2. Don't Pass By the Puzzles:

I don't know who brings them out every season, but someone does, and you think maybe I will do just a few, group a few colours, finish at the border, and the hours pass. It might not have been the best sleep decision for that late evening, but not to worry, puzzles are indeed good for the brain. Puzzles work both the left logical sequence side of your brain and the creative right side. David Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson authors of The Whole Brain Child state, “The brain has two sides for a reason: with each side having specialized functions, we can achieve more complex goals and carry out more intricate, sophisticated tasks. Significant problems arise when the two sides of our brain are not integrated and we end up coming at our experiences primarily from one side or the other...In order to live balanced, meaningful, and creative lives full of connected relationships, it’s crucial that our two hemispheres work together”. 

3. Hit the Slopes (or Skating Rink):

Skiing, cross country or downhill and skating are great forms of aerobic and muscle building exercse. Exercise is a mood booster that can help reduce anxious and depressive symptoms, aids in sleep and helps with clear thinking. Being outside on the slopes or at an outdoor rink, brings sunshine, fresh air and the beautiful sights which feel great. With these activities there are also the effects of cross lateral movements which activitates both hemispheres of the brain.

4. Laughing Stock:

The holidays bring families and friends together and hopefully a lot of laughter. They say it is the best medicine and it is pretty awesome for the brain, here's why: laughter improves memory, elevates mood, increases motivation, reduces pain, lowers stress, boosts immunity, and it releases dopamine, a natural opiate. 

5. Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot? 

The answer is no! A familar Christmas CD, family heirloom ornaments or decorations, whimsy about playing in the snow can all bring up fond memories of the past and it is good for you as reminicing can improve productivity and boost mental preformance.

6. The Long Winter's Nap:

Not only does your body scream for them during the holidays, naps can help your brain make decisions, feel more alert, and increase motor preformance. It is even in the traditional festive literature... “And Mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap” Twas the Night before Christmas even brings up these brain settling naps (although technically it was actually the night)! 

7. Choose Chocolate:

Studies are showing the consuming chocolate positively affects a person's cognitive abilities. Good news for chocolate lovers as chocolate can help with concentration levels. This might help counter what my friend calls turkey lethargy posioning regularly induced after the Christmas meal.

So eat, sleep, drink and be merry, much of it has the great effects of your brain on Christmas.

 

13 Keep Calm and Carry-On Travel Hacks for the Whole Family

Kelly Bos

ENJOY YOUR VACATION WITH LESS HASSLE!

With holidays and school breaks approaching, many families will load up the car, catch the train or board a flight. The excitement of the time away is tempered only by the actual journey which can be long, involve a lot of togetherness and can make everyone a little stir crazy. I recently moved back to Canada after living in the Caribbean for the last seven years. We were back and forth regularly with our children and I learned a few tricks along the way. There are so many great hacks out there and every little bit helps. I did a little research, asked around and compiled a list of multipurpose travel hacks that aren't heavy, bulky or too big for a purse or carry-on. Now unless you are sporting a tote with the power of a Mary Poppins carpet bag you might not want to packall of these, however, these items do double duty on a myriad of day to day and travel related problems...

The Balancing Act of Having an Adventurous Daughter

Kelly Bos

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WHAT THE BALANCE IS REALLY ABOUT

My daughter has decided, at seven years-old, that she wants to be a professional climber when she grows up. She saw a makeshift climbing wall once in a bachelor friends living room and had a good time traversing it. The majority of her experience, however, has been more of a free climb—of everything and anything. We lived in the Caribbean until this August, and although there were playgrounds that had equipment she liked to try and climb the tops of, she was more often found up every tree or rock structure she could find.

Not surprisingly, my good friend sent me this article from The Washington Post: Dear strangers, please stop telling me my daughter might get hurt.

I could have been this mom. That could be my daughter. I remember a mom running to me with concern at a playgroup because my daughter had climbed and stood upon a small table. I was surprised it wasn't something higher. At a birthday party last year, two separate parents mentioned she had the skills of a mountain goat...

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