You’re doing SO much less now compared to being out in the world…or are you?

I’m in quarantine – why am I so tired?

Quarantine

Photo by Mel Elías on Unsplash

This quarantine. You have all the ‘physical comforts” of home. You work from home. You dine from home (endlessly). You socialize from home. You work out (or not) from home. You are entertained from home (so many options!). You occasionally leave to get essential supplies: groceries, margarita mix, hair dye. Out in the world, albeit dramatically changed, running what formerly was a mindless errand (though there’s nothing mindless for many of us about now having to be on high alert outside the home), you almost feel like…yourself.

Then, back to lockdown. The weariness settles back in. Confinement is the source of your fatigue, but why? Consider what’s going 24/7 in your mind. Cognitively, you’re processing an assortment of negative emotions and discomfort regarding restricted movement that may come in waves: some sadness, feeling defeated, moody or restless, perhaps topped off with an overall lack of focus. If you find your efficiency and productivity waning, you’re not alone.

Stimulation

Most people need a certain degree of stimulation to feel motivated and present in society.  “Social rhythm reinforcers,” like going to school, work, social functions or the gym where you interact with others not only provides structure, but also tangible feelings that we have had a “productive” day. Certainly, when our days were filled with a variety of people, places and environments, they were more interesting than they are now. I know I had more things to talk about than what’s for dinner (“Chicken tacos, again?”) and Ozark Season 3 (fantastic, trust me).

All That is New

You might not think you’re working as hard…but let’s review: everything we’re doing is new, and it takes a lot of energy to do new things. You may be working from home more regularly or for the first time. You’re home schooling (um, 6th grade math?). You may be distance learning yourself. The mental and emotional burden of these novel, but often monotonous experiences wears on us. And, we’re all worried about social collapse, illness, death and money.

Zoom Gloom

Then, there’s Zoom. It requires more focus than a phone call—more attention, more energy, more polish. You can’t multi-task, you have to perform as if on stage, all the while sneaking glances at yourself (or trying not to). You’re burning a lot of cognitive energy.  Never mind the fact that you associate Zoom as a work tool, and now you’re using it for happy hours and family chats. Your work and private lives are merging, and your brain is just exploding er, begging for some downtime. No wonder why you’re exhausted at the end of the day – that day that looks like every other day?

A Peek Toward the Future

Acknowledging your weariness with this monotony is the first step toward mental and emotional revitalization, and indeed, feeling more like yourself. Here are some ideas to consider – a sort of ‘something I can get better at this week’to realign your energy and maybe even boost your mood. 

  • Choose one thing each week to aim for and don’t overdo it. If you want to change your environment, find a safe place to do a daily walk. If it’s sleep, go for a consistent bedtime. (Meditation can be particularly helpful for disrupted sleep.) If you want to eat a little better, substitute one healthy side at dinner. One thing at a time.
  • Acknowledge your new demands schedule – and adjust. New routines require new ways of doing things. Your tried and true may not work. That one-on-one with your supervisor? Might have to be rescheduled to after 2:00 pm when homeschooling is done for the day. Your workout? If your biorhythms are now best at noon, schedule it as ‘Lunch’ on your calendar, and get moving.
  • Socially connect in healthy ways. Emphasis on healthy. Mix it up: phone, Facetime, text, share a gif. If your Zoomed-out, decline. The important thing is to make a connection, share a memory, and laugh. Any release of dopamine, the feel-good hormone, which can come from laughter, is a game-changer.
  • Find your ‘I’m OK for now’ to support your wellness. Five minutes to create physical or brain stimulation that is practical, intentional, and tangible. It could be a word game or puzzle, stillness, wall pushups and lunges, or explore public spaces online like an art exhibit or a national park – and do it with intention toward your well-being.

This pandemic has been all about uncertainty and losses of all kinds. Many of us have entered a stage of chronic stress, a hormonal response to emotional pressure over a long period. This state of being takes a toll on our body and brain. To relieve this distress, we have to get as close to stable as we can.

As we move toward the ‘next’ normal, sleep, nutrition and physical exertion are your fundamentals. Shifting your emotional and physical energy away from uncertainty and this holding pattern, and to an imagined, better future focuses on self-care and taking care of loved ones. And that can be re-energizing because that’s how humans are wired anyway – toward the future.

Tackling health habits during tough times

Habits2

Photo by Mariana Medvedeva on Unsplash

Habits –whether healthy or unhealthy –are made the same way: by repeating an action until it becomes become a pattern. And in order to take on a healthy habit, we need a reward for that behavior to keep us motivated, to make it easier to stick to, until that new habit too becomes a pattern.

When our lives are going smoothly, it seems like discipline, structure and routine carry us a good portion of the way. We’re anchored in these areas and count on them as partners to move us forward. What happens when we go through tough times, a stressful period, and our tried and true habits seemingly grind to a halt? Immediate or perhaps for the long term, our environment has changed, so let’s consider how we can navigate in a new environment with new guidelines to get to a place where we can feel good about how we are doing with our wellbeing.

Think about a habit you want to change. Be specific. Maybe you’re lax in your healthy eating at breakfast. And you may be feeling anxious; sometimes we turn to these foods as a way to suppress negative emotions. Or, you are not getting regular exercise, you can’t visit your workout facility, or your timing is restricted because you’re working from home. When our routine is disrupted, this can cause a slide of our healthful habits. So, thinking about a habit you want to change, let’s be as specific as you can.

When we are overwhelmed with living day to day when we are disrupted with new schedules, environments and routines. We want to consider starting with just one small step as a way to start or transition toward a more healthful habit. One healthy choice you can make to get a little control back in a seemingly uncontrollable time. One small choice that can be integrated into your daily life, whatever that looks right now.

OK get a post-it or your phone because we are going to write something down. Research shows that when you write down your wellness habit you have a greater chance of achieving it. So please write an I WILL statement that is realistic (for the time you are in rn) and time-stamped. For food, it might look like this if you want to increase vegetables into your lunch in the place of chips for example, you might try I will eat a side salad three times a week at lunchtime for two weeks. This is realistic because it’s not every day. It’s very specific-lunch. It’s in a two-week time frame. And I would have you note how you feel on the days you eat the salad instead of the chips please.

For exercise it might be I will walk after dinner for 15 minutes four evenings a week for three weeks. Specific-walking, reasonable, 4 of 7 nights, you get it…

So, think about how to make a small step toward a healthful habit, realistic for the lifestyle you’re in right now, and make it reasonable for  the time period. And here I would have you note how you feel after moving your body with this exercise.

OK big question: What will you receive for this habit? More energy, a sense of calm, looking better, feeling stronger.  For healthy eating, it might be feeling more alert in the afternoon. For exercise, it might be getting better sleep. Every habit has a reward so make sure you note yours – it will be a good motivator and reminder on days when it gets hard and you ask yourself…why am I doing this again??

To stick to your wellness habit, track your progress. It keeps you focused. Checking off your achievements is unbelievably valuable, as your brain’s reward center releases dopamine, an instant and natural high! You might also choose to share your progress with someone else for added support – we’re better together on our wellness journeys!

In challenging times, give yourself the physical and emotional space If you stumble – healthy habits are not linear! Look at any obstacles you may come across: see if there is a simple, small step back on track.

When you examine your new routine and environment and find a new way to integrate a healthy habit, consider that it’s going to look and feel different. I hope you find these tips helpful to make your habits healthier.

Take Five For Your Mental Fitness

Emotional Health in Challenging Times

MentalFitness

Humans are the best story tellers. And throughout history we have always had quite a story to tell about the challenging times we endure, and the present will be no different. Humans are also the most anxious species. And we are really good at change; history shows genetically we are survivors, so the truth is we are a resilient species. And resiliency is important in our emotional wellness because anxiety is normal; it comes and goes, and as the weeks pass during this particularly difficult time, we are getting stronger. We may not be as rattled as we were at the beginning of this current challenge. And the key to staying resilient is positive emotions.

Psychologists note that positivity allows you to step up emotionally to the next level, to move forward just a bit. Many of you may want to know how to do that right about now.

Feeling your feelings in a healthy way, validating them with an open mind, having the ability to self-regulate those feelings, to bring ourselves into balance, is key to something called emotional sobriety. Add a little compassion toward ourselves and we can start to better cope in a way that  can get us to a more peaceful and positive level in our mental fitness.

We all have a narrative that we tell ourselves; we are our own best story tellers. Sometimes that prevents us from moving forward, particularly when we are in a moment of uncertainty, where we have little control over our environment. If you find yourself stuck, consider these ways to move forward:  first, take time to reflect on what may be contradictions of the current situation. For example, you may be grateful that you and your family are healthy, yet you’ve lost work or finances. Take time to reflect that these can exist simultaneously.

Second, use humor as a tool. Dig down and without forgoing compassion for those that have experienced loss, humor can provide welcome relief. In fact, both of these tactics can give you a little distance and the ability to find options for problem solving.

Third, if you still find yourself stuck, try taking the perspective from another person for your situation. If you can’t see how to go about this, imagine the advice of a favorite teacher, boss, or any role model who has your best interests at heart, and think about what they would say to you. This will give you a different perspective -a point of view- that will move you toward a fresh emotional place and you can begin to make small steps toward progress.

Finally, let’s review why your routine can be so important to your mental well-being in challenging times. Your behaviors and habits are the landing pad on our roller coaster of emotions. They are what we will hold onto firmly and keep us on the ground.

These are sleep, nutrition and moving our bodies. These three habits will replenish your emotional health and help bring you to a more balanced state on a daily basis. While it is tempting to eat cake, watch Hulu and stay up late, these do not refuel your mental fitness.

  • Sleep: monitor what external stimulation you are bringing into your space, be it news, people, or entertainment
  • Nutrition: measure your portions and instead of seconds on your entrée, go for seconds on fruits and vegetables or a healthier side dish
  • Exercise: in most parts of the country, a 10-minute walk is doable and safe, so challenge yourself to a pre- or post-meal walk two times a day, preferably outside

The result of every healthy habit is a reward, so think of yours as a more positive and balanced emotional state of wellness. It’s good to remind ourselves this is a marathon not a sprint; doing just a few small steps in our wellness routine each day will keep us resilient.

As your own best storyteller, how do you want to change your narrative to better take care of your emotional health?

Sleep is Your Superpower in Challenging Times

Sleep

Our sleep is likely affected by any change to our routine, structure or environment – I know mine is. If you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or even going to sleep, take two minutes now to refresh one of these strategies to adopt as your own superpower and you’ll be on your way to a good night’s rest.

Sleep is foundational in challenging times: it helps the immune system fight off infection. Getting too little or too much sleep can have a big impact on how you perform daily tasks, both complex and ordinary. Good mental health and sleep are closely aligned. Have you heard that sleep acts like a dishwasher on your brain? Each night it cleans and recycles so that you start fresh each day and your creativity and productivity is firing at optimal levels. Allowing the full cycle to run is essential because our ability to learn, retain information, and memory skills are dependent on our ability to get both quality and adequate sleep.

Are you noticing an increase in your appetite in the past month? Don’t automatically attribute it to stress-eating. You have two hunger hormones – one that stimulates appetite and one that decreases it.  When the body is sleep-deprived, the levels spike and fall in the wrong directions, leading to an increase in hunger. And with sleep deprivation, comes lower energy, so you may be a little less motivated to exercise, then you may feel sluggish or start to gain a little weight. For both your mental and physical health, let’s consider some tips for better sleep.

  • Smart sleep hygiene includes first taking a look at your sleep space is it cool — as in temperature – around 68 degrees is best. Is your bedding appealing and comfortable? What about your pillow? Is it providing good neck support?
  • Next consider electronics. Turning off all phones, TVs, and laptops, SIXTY minutes before bed is a well-known guideline. We understand this because the blue light in these devices tells your brain waves to stay awake. But new research also tells us that content is keeping us awake we’re tired, but we procrastinate from falling asleep by staying on our devices. Message: stop scrolling on your phone to lull you to sleep.
  • Let’s move on to a consistent bedtime. This gives you the best chance for the 7 to 9 hours of sleep recommended for adults. Try to resist the urge to stay up late or sleep in!
  • And if you do lie awake, it’s good to get out of bed, find a place with dim lighting, and pass time until you are sleepy with a physical book, breathing exercises, or listening to music. And turning a clock away from sight can be helpful. If you like to nap during the day, a 30-minute nap is OK –unless you have trouble sleeping at night, then resist the urge to nap.
  • It’s common to have anxious thoughts once you get into bed, and if this is preventing you from falling asleep, you might try physically writing these thoughts down earlier in the day to relieve your mind from thought-racing at night.
  • Finally, establishing a wind-down ritual will signal your brain that you are transitioning to sleep. In stressful times, a hot shower, a few minutes of mindful meditation, music or gratitude journaling can be beneficial…and dimming the lights will help.
  • As for medications and natural supplements, some medications can affect sleep, so check with your doctor on your prescriptions. And do some research on natural supplements like melatonin for one that may be right for you.
  • Alcohol acts like a sedative when it comes to your sleep. It might put you to sleep, but it won’t allow you the most restful of sleep — REM sleep — where you get the most benefit for brain health and your immune system.

So now you know sleep can be a powerful tool during challenging times – it improves your mental and physical health, helps manage your weight, aids in being more productive, and improves your memory. With a good night’s sleep, you feel energetic and your mood is improved. I challenge you to try one strategy tonight to take on as your own superpower for sleep.

Eight Simple Strategies to Boost Your Immunity

immunity

Photo by Tiard Schulz on Unsplash

Your immune system protects you against disease and infection and even helps you recover after an injury.  And it is complex, made up of cells, processes, and chemicals, and fights off viruses, toxins, and bacteria.  But what you can do to protect your immune system can be done in these eight simple steps.

STRESS affects your immune system

We want to consciously manage stress and our emotional health so knowing the techniques that work for you is essential. One size does not fit all, so don’t be discouraged if yoga is not your groove. Explore what takes you from anxious to calm. Breathing, stretching at your workstation…all good for your immunity. In fact, taking three conscious breaths is something that can help everyone. In through your nose and out through your mouth, breathing is also good for digestion and general immunity, both of which are impaired by stress. And, people who meditate (just a few minutes is required) may have healthier immune system responses than those who never do.

FOODS for your immune system

These are the fruits and vegetables, rich in nutrients like lots of vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc to add or augment to your diet. Go for a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots.  Did you know fresh garlic is a natural anti-biotic, and mushrooms may help fight viruses and bacteria? Consider adding walnuts, hot peppers, extra virgin olive oil and Omega 3s like fish, to boost immune cell activity. And finally, you may have heard about the benefits of Vitamin D and immunity. Consult with your medical professional if a supplement is right for you – a good way naturally to get your Vitamin D is 10 minutes outside daily, and use your sunscreen!

MOVE for a stronger immune system.

Move – ideally outside for 20 minutes a day. If you make it fun, and better yet, find a friend (four-legged ones count) to keep you accountable, studies show you are more apt to stick to it.

SLEEP helps the immune system fight off infection

Important tips include a consistent wake-up and bedtime; an ideal room temperature of 68 degrees; screens off 60 minutes before going to sleep; comfortable bedding and a supportive pillow (if you can bend it, time to replace); a ritual to signal your brain it’s time for sleep that can include essential oils, a shower, dimming the lights, writing down anxious thoughts earlier in the day so that you avoid thought-racing once in bed; and finally, if you do lie awake, physically move to another room and occupy yourself with a book or music until you are sleepy.

 SOCIAL Those that have a good social network have stronger immunity than those who feel alone

If an in-person opportunity is not available, then connecting with intention using social technology reaps the benefits to your immune system. That circle of support, especially if you are laughing when you connect, releases natural happy hormones that will give you a mood lift, which boosts your immune system!

Research shows that even a 15-minute conversation is beneficial.

SUGAR Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria

This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks. Good drinks instead are green tea, which is an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agent, and of course, water. If you are tired of water, add a few pieces of fruit, or try it sparkling with zero sugar. Put it in a fun container (BPA-free) for more motivation but stay hydrated.

HYGIENE Clean hands and face for life

Connect the act of washing your hands and avoiding touching your face with slowing down! Finding that it takes a few seconds to develop muscle memory for this important health habit will protect your immune system for decades.

Being present and mindful will help you make the connection as you wash your hands thoroughly. Checking yourself does take some practice, but you will eventually reduce the number of times your hands come close to your face.

 SMOKE-FREE Protect your immune system by keeping toxins away

You have more susceptibility to infections and lower levels of protective antioxidants (such as vitamin C) in the blood if you smoke, vape or inhale anything into your lungs.

So, what steps will you take to fight off viruses, toxins, and bacteria? I hope you will incorporate a few of these to stay healthy and safe.

We Thought We Were Special Teams. Sales Thought We Were The Cheerleaders.

I was a mid-level marketing manager at a Fortune 100 manufacturing company, with many divisions acting in silos and whose revenue was driven by a highly compensated sales culture. The sales process was consultative, complex and rooted in long-standing customer relationships. We were the dominant player, but the landscape was changing, as competitors were more and more able to offer ‘cheaper-better-faster.’ Enter Marketing, in a relatively new function, who proposed augmenting the sales process with analytics, positioning and customer segmentation so that we could keep or capture share we were losing.

There was resistance from the ‘big dog’ sales guys, the ones who had been there the longest and who were responsible for our largest customers. Their perspective was that relationships drove sales and they responded by suggesting more of what they were used to Marketing provide: golf events, convention sponsorships, high-profile speaker venues and the hospitality invitations that went with them. “Keep strong the relationship and the sale won’t be in jeopardy,” they said. Marketing took the scientific approach: “Segment the market, align the sweet spot based on a variety of metrics (including profitability), win.” Some of our current customers would fall out, several new ones would drop in. The landscape would look much different. So different that people’s paychecks were at stake, egos. Beloved by Sales, the customer events were perceived as bigger wins and relationship gold.

Sales. Marketing. Standoff.

Enter the Division President, a big believer in letting people figure out how to get the ball in play. He blended his background in college football with personal charm to build your confidence and motivate your drive. He seemed to easily dismiss the haters, doubters and non-believers and this was the kind of environment he created for his team. He said that every time he got knocked down on the field, he had to get back up, and it made for good training for his sales career. He led the tightly knit sales team for 15 years and his influence was instrumental in our position as the dominant player. He cared about relationships above all else, but he, like many fine athletes, hating losing, and he knew it was time for the ball to move.

The current market, along with our data, did the convincing I suppose, and we got the greenlight for our approach with some major sales proposals. But it couldn’t be our approach and that’s what the Division President understood: Sales had the years of institutional and customer knowledge, we just had data and science. He implored that we work together. Ugh. We thought we were special teams. Sales thought we were the cheerleaders. Then he said, “You know, working this way is new, but we don’t win ‘em alone and we don’t lose ‘em alone. How you get there, well, you might just want to use your relationships with each other.”

It really doesn’t take a lot of words to build your confidence and motivate your drive, if it’s from someone who cares about building a healthy environment to succeed. So we did, and there were wins and some particularly crushing losses. We continued to get back up, though. Good training for any career.

 

Susan Kolon is a healthcare communications consultant and wellness coach.

How Dirty Money and Manicures Led to Life-Long Health Habits

When I was in my last semester of high school, my schedule left me three afternoons a week without any classes, starting at 1p.m. I couldn’t leave campus unless I had a vocational job. I was going to college, so that was out. However, if you could convince the Vocational Director that a job would prepare you for college, he would relent. I pored over the lists of jobs and ‘bank teller’ caught my eye, but not for the needed math skills; I was really interested in how cool it would be to hang around a vault that held a lot of actual cash. I kept that to myself and got the job, including Saturdays.

On my first day, my father dropped me off with this advice: “Listen more than you talk, do what you’re told, and think of this as school.” He explained that while I would be learning applied math (I had no idea what that meant), I would be getting other kinds of applied learning, too, but I would have to look for those lessons on my own because “the bank is a business not a classroom.”

Indeed, I had to catch on quickly, as the afternoon rush accounted for much of the bank’s business — customers who owned liquor stores and made many deposits in lots of dirty multi-denomination dollar bills. There was no Purell in those days and no time to run to the ladies room to wash my hands, so I was careful not to touch my face. Lesson #1. And although the other tellers kept up a steady stream of gossip about customers and their after-hours activities, for the most part, I kept my mouth shut. It was enough for me to concentrate on keeping my money straight and looking out for counterfeit $100 bills.

Once as I was balancing my drawer, the busy head teller passed my station. “Who taught you to count your cash?” she barked. “Um,” I stammered, not wanting to rat out the training teller. “Here,” she said, “let me show you.” As I stood in awe of her fancy, manicured nails, she showed me proper grip and hand position and how the paper then flowed from right to left as she counted aloud, using her fingers to align the bills in the same order. It was magical, took seconds to count a pack, and completely changed my work pattern. I mimicked her movements, but the 17-year-old in me asked, “How come the nails?” As she handed over my bills, she smiled and said, “Customers spend more time looking at their money than looking at me. It’s my way of making their trip here more human.” This was YEARS before the concept of ‘1:1 customer experience’ entered our lexicon. Lesson #2.

My breaks coincided with the senior loan officer’s lunch. The loan officer was someone the others admired: she was pretty, smart, and to me, popular. There was often a line to see her; the fact that she brought in revenue went completely over my head. With my father’s advice ringing in my ears, I peeked from behind my book and watched in fascination as she leisurely ate her lunch: a small sandwich, one piece of fruit, cookies. Never more than two and always last. Meals at my house with six siblings were less about food and more about feed. On a day I noticed there no cookies in her bag, she tugged on the waistband of her skirt, sighed and left. This was my first exposure to balanced eating. One time she looked up and said, “Are you interested in what I’m reading?” “Yes,” I said, not in the least, eyes fixed quickly on her banking newspaper. This smart, kind woman spent her next few breaks thinking she was teaching me about commercial paper but she also taught me about presence and treating yourself with respect and self-worth. Lesson #3.

The bank’s branch manager was a no-nonsense war survivor from Armenia, the perfect complement to the Middle Eastern immigrant customer base who had settled in Detroit. She spoke several languages and much of her job seemed to be holding tough conversations with customers. A colleague told me people made incorrect assumptions about her intelligence and her decision-making authority because she was a woman and she was Armenian. This came as a surprise to me, given I went to an all-girl high school and was told I could do and be anything. During downtimes, she took walks around the block. This was considered unusual because no one walked in the suburbs and not for any purpose than to just walk. I often watched her from the drive-in window, wondering if she cared that people were talking about her while she was gone. I always knew it was her when she returned: the front door swung open wide, she sailed in as if a gust of wind blew her through and she looked as refreshed as the beginning of the day. No, she didn’t care; walking made her feel great. Lesson #4.

These lessons became my self-care health habits. I walk every day and eat in moderation because it makes me feel good. I am conscious of how my hands “present” (as well as the rest of me) so that my interactions with people are more respectful and human. I continue to look for lessons on my own with colleagues, with clients, and especially with those just starting out. Because my health can always use a good, new habit.

By the way, I did get to go into the bank vault. And it was super cool.

Susan Kolon is a healthcare communications consultant and wellness coach. She can tell you at any time — by denomination – the number of dollar bills in her wallet. Right next to the Purell.

Health Shaming: A Trend that Looks Good on Nobody

At a first meeting with a new health coaching client, I see a list in front of her. A long list. I couldn’t read it but I had a feeling. I began by asking her the question I ask every new client: “What are you feeling good about with your health right now?”

She physically responded by sitting back, head tilted and eyes widened: “That is the not the question I expected,” she said.” “You see, I have here a list, a list of my problems. All the things I am not doing. ”I continued: “Let’s start by talking about what you’re feeling good about.” With some probing, she was able to come up with several. This led to an illuminating conversation about her values and her motivators. By the end of our time together, we had connected and had begun to explore her readiness to change some health habits and gauged her confidence in doing so. She remarked she felt listened to and in control. She was open to new possibilities and in charge of the first step in her journey toward better health: I literally felt it in her hug and saw it in her gait as she moved down the block.

Imagine a different scenario: one where she was one-upped, interrogated or guilt tripped? And then being told she must change: health shamed. Shaming is an odd, disturbing trend right now…by one definition: ‘to be negatively evaluated by others or one’s self.’  Who thinks that would work? Where would my client’s confidence to achieve be and where would she develop the tools needed to sustain long-lasting change on her own? Had I ‘health shamed’ her, I am certain I would not have her as a client, and more importantly, she would not be on the road to better health. Understanding, kindness, honesty and belief in someone…well, that looks good on everybody.

So let’s honor ourselves this New Year. There are lots of other things to fight fire with fire. The road to long-lasting health deserves positive partnership and diligent effort, building confidence and self efficacy with every step and in every bite. It’s a brand new way of looking at yourself and your abilities.

Susan Kolon is a healthcare communications consultant and wellness coach. Used with client’s permission.