Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Last Post


Hi.  This is my last vlog post.  I have decided to end my blog and concentrate on YiuTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and my Facebook Lives on my group Dream. Imagine. Believe. Achieve.  I will keep my blog up so you can have access to past posts.  Email me anytime with questions regarding posts or my coaching services.  amy@acnlifecoach.com.  My website is www.acnlifecoach.com.  You can find all the links to social media accounts there.  Best wishes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Vlog: When Someone Believes In You



When someone believes in you:  What does that do for you?

  • Helps you believe in yourself
  • Fosters confidence building
  • Builds self-respect
  • Offers you hope
  • Spurs you to seek out opportunities of self-fulfillment
  • Gives you energy
Maybe you feel different, angry, nervous, or insecure.  Can you imagine what someone's belief in you would do for you?  Wow!  It could be life-changing.

But also, dig deep to find belief in yourself.
  • You have to believe in yourself in order for your dreams to come true and your life to be fulfilling.
  • Nobody can give that to you.  They can believe in you, but if that belief doesn't transfer to you, it won't do you any good.
  • And you need to be ready to receive that belief and run with it and use it for good.
Do you have someone in your life who believes in you?  What has that done for your confidence, your self-respect, your productivity?

Who has believed in you?  A teacher, a parent, a spouse?  Maybe a friend, a member of the clergy, a boss?  Could be a doctor, nurse, therapist, a coach.  Who was it in your case?  I'd love to hear about them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Vlog: Exercising With Chronic Health Issues


Hi there!  I got up early to exercise this morning.  I got a great workout exercising along to Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds 3-Mile DVD.  Yay!  When the alarm went off, I thought, oh no, but I got up, got going and was glad I did.  Her DVD's are adaptable, fun, and offer up a really good workout.  And, I'm being paid to say that!  I've been using her videos for years. 

Do you have chronic health issues?  If so, do you exercise?  Whether you can walk or not, in most cases there are exercises you can do.  Don't listen to the naysayers that discourage you because they think you're unable to exercise or that you'll just make a mistake and get hurt.  Please, you're not a two year old.  You know your body and that it's important to take care of it.   Listen to it and exercise!  But, please, the first thing you need to do is check with your doctor to see what exercises you can and cannot do relative to your chronic health issues.  Then pick exercises that are fun for you to do and take it slow.  You want to challenge yourself, yes, but you don't want to hurt yourself.  You may even want to talk with a personal trainer, exercise scientist, fitness coach, or physical therapist to get tips on where to start, what exercises to do, and so on.  You can also ask me questions if you like since I was a fitness coach for eight years.  I still know a thing or two about fitness.  And if I don't know the answer, I can refer you to someone who may be able to help you.  

Exercise doesn't just help you lose weight, it can reduce the risk of certain diseases, boost your mood, improve your sleep, and much more.  So, get out there, find out what you can and cannot do, and have fun--for life!



















Thursday, July 12, 2018

Vlog: Yes, You Can Work With Chronic Health Issues



Hey there!  I'm back after taking Fourth of July week off from vlogging.  Hope everyone celebrating it had a great time.

I've heard lots of people with spina bifida and other chronic health issues say they can't work, don't work because of their health.  This is surprising and discouraging.  I realize that your ability to work depends on the severity of your health problems, but in many cases, as long as you check with your doctor about what you can and cannot do, you should be able to work at some type of job.

Where can you work?

Home

  • I've tutored English as a second language
  • I had a typing and design business
  • I wrote articles for Spina Bifida Association of America's magazine
  • Fitness coach
  • Life coach
All from home!

Office in town

Temp agency
  • I spent about two years working at various businesses as a temp employee
In a coffee shop
  • Take your laptop along and work from there.
In the park

At the library
  • Take your laptop or Ipad along.  Maybe even reserve conference or meeting room there.
At a community center
  • You can reserve a meeting room there to hold a workshop or other type of work-related event
At the kitchen table
  • I tutor ESL students at my kitchen table!
On the phone
  • Telemarketing
  • Scheduling
  • Life coaching
  • Conducting polls and surveys
  • Customer service
  • Tech support
What can you do?  (Hint:  Pretty much anything!)
  • Writing
  • Blogging
  • Billing
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Customer service
  • Making crafts to sell on Etsy
  • Coaching
  • Bookkeeping
  • Conducting surveys
  • Mystery shopping
  • Search engine evaluator
  • Researching
  • Photo editing 
  • Copy editing
  • Tutoring
  • Mentoring
  • See if your current boss will allow you to telecommute instead of traveling to the office every day.
  • Virtual assistant
  • Personal training/fitness coaching
  • Tech support
  • Quality control
  • Social media manager
For more information, contact the following:
  • Your state's vocational rehab agency for help   
  • Your local job service or check out their website for job leads
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster.com
  • National Telecommuting Institute (www.ntiathome.org/work-at-home-jobs-disabled.shtm
  • LandaJob.org
  • My Employment Options (https://www.myemploymentoptions.com
  • FlexJobs.com:  https://www.FlexJobs.com/?sub=1037
  • Freelancer.com
  • Hubpages.com/eHow.com
A cautionary note:
  • Look out for scams:  Avoid anything that seems fishy, have your lawyer look over contracts.
  • Go with your gut when deciding which organizations you want to work for and jobs you want to do
  • Get references before committing to anything
  • Be careful when meeting prospective employers, contractors, clients in person.  Choose a public place.  Bring along a trusted friend or colleague to sit nearby in the park, restaurant or another meeting place of your choice just in case there is trouble and you need help.  At least tell someone close to you where you will be meeting this prospective client and when you plan to return.
Are you working?  Are you not?  What are your thoughts on working/not working with chronic health issues?


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Vlog: Believe





I've been discussing my motto:  Dream.  Imagine.  Believe.  Achieve.  I've talked about dream and imagine.  Today, it's believe.  

The definition of "believe" is "to accept or regard as something that's true."  

So, how can believing help you get unstuck and go for your goals?

Well, you can start acting as if you already have it, made it, did it.  Your dream has come true.  Don't throw your money around just because you imagine yourself as a millionaire or successful businessperson.  That could get you into a lot of trouble.  You need to pay the rent, you need to act responsibly.  But you can visualize yourself as being successful.  You can believe that it will happen.  

Why is belief important?

  • If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will.  And you may need people's help to follow your dreams.
  • Belief breeds confidence that you need when t  The road gets rough.  You'll most likely face barriers along the way toward your dreams, but with confidence, you can overcome them.  You need belief for that.
  • If you've seen others do something you know it can be done.  To believe that you can do it is key to doing it yourself.
  • Belief inspires you to take action.  You know you can do it so let's get going.  And you won't give up until you succeed.
  • It helps you form a positive attitude.  Attitude is everything when going for your goals.  You need to have a positive attitude to accomplish anything.  To achieve anything.  
Achieve is the final portion of my motto.  Dreaming, imagining, and believing can lead to achievement.  
  • You may fail repeatedly but belief keeps you going, trying again.  You know this is what you are meant to do.  Help people, for example.  That was me.  I've tried lots of stuff--I wanted to be a psychologist and play therapist.  I didn't do it.  But, years later, I've found coaching.  I've always wanted to help people, ever since I was very young.  Nothing else clicked, but coaching did.  And tutoring English as well as an off-shoot.  I am helping people.  It doesn't matter that I didn't go for the masters and doctorate.  It matters that I kept looking for what was right for me; the way in which I could help people best.   And, I've found it.  It took awhile, but I found it.  And that's okay.  Your true self--your true calling--may take awhile to come forth, but it will.  Give it time.  Then work for it, embrace it, love it, enjoy it.
What are your dreams?  Do you believe in yourself and your ability to achieve them?  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Vlog: Daydreaming Pros and Cons


I have used daydreaming for stress relief for most of my life:  from about age 8 years to my early 20s.  I've used it since then as well, just not as much.  I probably used it too much as an escape early on, but I truly do feel that it helped me cope.

There are pros and cons associated with daydreaming.  

First, the Pros:

  • Helps you get creative:  I do this with writing, disappearing into that world--getting into "the zone."  Creativity can also help you relax, find new solutions to problems you may never have thought of otherwise.
  • Helps you understand where someone is coming from; empathize:  Daydreaming can help you think how it is for your family and friends when you have to cancel due to health issues or some other reason.  It can also help you feel more connected to those family and friends who live far away. Research shows that daydreaming/fantasizing can cause similar reactions to those you would experience in reality while in the same situations.  Excited.  Frightened.  Calm.  Refreshed.  Sad.  How cool is that?
  • De-stress through letting go:  Giving yourself a little break from constant worry, medication schedules, doctors' appointments, physical therapy and so on by daydreaming.  It can aid healing and improve your wellness by boosting your immune system and the overall way you feel.
  • Clarity and better memory:  Daydreaming can help you think more clearly and better remember new information.  This is excellent news for those of you who are facing meeting a new doctor or new diagnosis.  For planning, organizing and performance at work, too.  Use it to go into any new situations with more confidence.  
Now, the Cons:

  • Distraction:  Daydreaming can take your attention away from learning, work, chores, family, and so on.  It makes retrieving information more difficult, say, if you're reading or taking a test.
  • Unhappiness:  If you daydream about negative things you could become more unhappy.  If you daydream about positive things, it doesn't seem to help you become happier.  It all depends on your view of your daydream experience and the topic.  Go into it realizing that it is only a tool that can help you temporarily zone out and relieve stress.  Use it for good rather than bad.  
  • Staying in a dream world:  If you stay in the dream world and can't function in the real one; if you avoid socializing with friends and family, chronically miss work or school to spend time daydreaming, it's important for you to recognize this as unhealthy and seek help from a healthcare professional.    
  • Putting people on a pedestal: If you imagine a person to be a certain way in your daydreams, it could negatively affect your life and even be dangerous.  For example, if you're in an abusive relationship and disappear into your daydreams as an escape, and while there imagine that the person is really amazing and loving, and then come back to reality and convince yourself that this same person is really kind and deserves your love even though they are abusive toward you, that is not healthy.  On the flip side, you could also go into your dream world and imagine doing terrible things to someone in your life you dislike strongly, although they are basically a decent person. That will not help foster understanding or a healthy relationship with that person in reality.
You absolutely can learn to use daydreaming as a tool to get you through the tough times.  Just remember to use it for good and not stay there.  

Do you use daydreaming to cope with chronic health issues or other problems?  Has it hurt?  Has it helped?  Let me know.  Thanks.  See you back here next week.  

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Frontiers in Psychology:  Pros and Cons of a Wandering Mind: A Prospective Study

  

Friday, June 15, 2018

Vlog: Part 2: Using Your Imagination To Manage Stress



Hi! I'm back to bring you the second part of my vlog on imagination.  In the first part, I talked about how I have used imagination to relieve stress throughout my life.  In today's vlog, I talk about how imagination can help you and how to actually tap into your imagination.  Here we go.  

How can imagination help you?

Stress relief:  Some stress is good.  It challenges you to get things done, meet deadlines, grow/change for good, and so on.  But getting too stressed out can be harmful to your health.  Stress can cause:

  • physical symptoms
  • missed work due to illness
  • psychological symptoms
  • relationship issues and more.  It can touch all areas of your life.
Using imagination for good:  While imagination can cause disease, it also can heal.  You may worry yourself sick (literally) about money, tests, surgery, relationships--even about getting sick!  How about using it for good instead to: 

  • see the big picture 
  • relieve stress 
  • work out problems/find solutions
  • practice conversations with doctors, bosses, friends, teachers, family, lawyers, insurance agents--anyone  
  • get relief from the negativity that's bogging you down either in your head or from others 
  • improve your emotional and mental well being
So, how do you do this?  

How do you practice imagining to reap the benefits of it?
  • Ask yourself what imagination would do for you that's positive
  • Make room for imagination in your life
  • Use active imagination, which was created by Carl Jung, to connect the conscious and sub-conscious. Examples are dream interpretation, visualization, and daydreaming.  You can imagine an army representing the immune system fighting the disease, or enemy.  Or you can imagine a meadow of wildflowers or the seashore that is calming.  You can also use meditation to bring yourself to a safe place in which to work out problems that cause fear.  And how about viewing your health issue as a movie?  What do you see?  How do you feel?  How did you get this health issue?  What can you do to ease the symptoms or recover?  
  • Commit to taking action based on what you learned from your imagination
  • Do more of what you love (sing, exercise, eat your favorite foods, place fresh flowers throughout the house), in order to attract positive energy.  This positive energy sharpens your critical thinking and decision-making skills, which you need in order to solve problems and reduce stress.
  • Keep a lookout for signs, symbols, and synchronicity.  For example, when I'm feeling down and I see a cloud in the shape of a feather, I take it as a sign that my guardian angel has my back since the feather is a sign that your guardian angel is nearby.
  • Make sure to review what you're doing to see what works and what doesn't.  Make adjustments as needed.
It is very important to become aware of what you need in order to facilitate change.  Go within yourself, using your imagination, to help you find out.  

PNI

Robert Ader, a psychologist, and Nicholas Cohen, an immunologist, came up with the term psychoneuroimmunology.  What's that all about?  Let's take a look:
  • The idea behind the big name is that the mind can activate specific neurological processes which in turn can stimulate the immune system to suppress illness and improve health.  Yay, I love it!
  • And, as I mentioned earlier, while the mind's reaction to stress can stunt immunity and promote illness, visualization, imagination, and such can stimulate the immune system to better fight disease.  Who-hoo!  
Okay, here are more ways to tap into this awesome thing called imagination:
  • relax
  • get a clear image of your immune system fighting your disease--whatever health issue you're dealing with.  This could be an army fighting an enemy, a bunch of big fish representing your immune system devouring a bunch of other fish representing your disease or another stressor, or a stream of light that surrounds you and fills you with healing energy.
Here's the but, and a counter but

All this isn't backed by copious amounts of research, but it can be used safely as a part of your healthcare plan in conjunction with your traditional medical treatments and therapies.  It can't hurt you to use your imagination for good.  The only way it could hurt you is if you decided to live in your imaginary world and never deal with reality.  Try it to ease your mind and stress lwhen you most need it and see how you feel.  See if it helps.  And, if it does, which has been true in my case, wow!  Imagine, with more solid research data, what a wonderful feeling it would be to have your doctor actually prescribe imagination as a potential treatment for what's ailing you!  

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Resources:  www.psychologytoday.com and www.goodtherapy.org