May 2023

Woman enjoying the scenery on her road trip

Taking Advantage of a Long, Holiday Weekend. . .

Even as Americans discuss the advantages of the four-day work-week, thanks to Representative Mark Takano, D-Calif., who introduced legislation which, if it passes, would reduce the standard workweek to 32 hours instead of 40, we’re also working more hours than ever.

The Guardian reports that compared with other countries, the American workplace record is not good. “In 2021, American employees worked 184 more hours than Japanese workers, 294 more hours than British workers, and 442 more hours than German workers. Unbelievably, in 2023 there are millions of Americans who work at jobs with no vacation time” (The Guardian).

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You'll never walk alone song lyrics

You’ll Never Walk Alone. . .

Since its first recording, by Frank Sinatra in 1945, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has been reinterpreted by many musicians, perhaps most recently by Josh Groban in 2015. Its lyrics are formed by a relatively short, 17-line poem, written as a song by Rogers & Hammerstein for musical Carousel.

This song reminds me so much of the nature of my work – certainly, when clients come to me they often feel VERY alone and completely overwhelmed by the caregiver roles they fill. This is true whether they are parents of a special-needs-child or the sole caregiver for a spouse with dementia. That sense of being alone is, in itself, depressing.

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Women running past finish line at marathon

Measuring Progress Can Help. . .

I’m working with a Health Coach myself (yes, even coaches need coaches!) who seems to appreciate my need to measure things. I’m one of those people who likes to see measurable improvement – to choose metrics that allow me to demonstrate progress, if not full completion, of a goal.

Sometimes, especially if we’re working on goals that feel particularly difficult, it can be important to at least see movement in the desired direction. Most of us can appreciate the fulfillment of getting to the finish line of a quick sprint, like the 100-yard-dash. But when you’re in a marathon you need benchmarks along the way to remind you that you’re actually doing it, and that the end will come, even if you can’t see it from your current spot on the route. That’s where metrics come in handy!

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Cute cat laying on floor

When Grief, Like a River. . .

There’s an old hymn that I remember from my childhood – it was popularized by George Beverly Shea, a soloist who toured with the famous 1950s evangelist, Billy Graham – and this was the opening line, When grief, like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea-billows roll. . .

Well, once again, I find myself writing about grief because it seems to surround me right now, and I’m reminded that it may also be surrounding some of you. We face losses big and small throughout life but sometimes, they seem to galvanize our attention and fill us with a sense of sadness that can’t be set aside.

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Kitten sleeping on steps

What’s Sleep Got To Do With It?

Sleep is a regulated biological function, part of the body’s homeostasis, universally experienced as a state of unawareness, in which most of us will spend nearly one-third of our lives. It affects our lives on many levels and touches so many other bodily functions that when it is disrupted, we can be left with very serious deficits.

In the USA, nearly 25% of the population complains of some kind of sleep disturbance. Shift-workers are prone to have their circadian rhythm disrupted especially if they must rotate shifts. And, sleep disturbances can lead to many other problems, including public health issues when so many of us are also trying to drive while sleep-deprived!

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Woman doing some exercises

Where your mind goes when your body is exercising. . .

I can’t know what it is like for you, but for me, there is always the tendency to dissociate my head and body if given the opportunity to do so. It is a habit learned long ago that probably served me well in childhood, but at this time in my life, it is important to move beyond that habit!

Mindfulness hasn’t come easily to me, but I know how to be mindful, and I work to make it my preferred way of being on a daily basis. That said, there are some distinct occasions when I notice my capacity for mindfulness waivers. One of those times is during exercise.

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