3 Moves for a Better Day

3 Moves For A Better Day:  how to add 3 things to your day to continually improve your life… kaizen for living.Sometimes, it seems that any change in life has to be a 180° turn… starting or stopping something you were not doing or doing.  And sometimes, that is important.  You might stop smoking, start exercising, or make some other major shift in life.

But in reality, more of growth in life is really about continued improvement.  This matches the Japanese idea of kaizen, or “change for the better.”  This is the concept behind many manufactoring processes — small incremental changes that amount to bigger cumulative improvement.

That can apply to your life!  It probably already does, but can you make it more intentional?  For example, let’s say I start exercising.  I go for a 20 minute run/walk.  That might be a 180° change — I started doing something I wasn’t doing.  But then what?  I would likely not just stay with that.  I might add more time, more distance, or maybe run for a higher percentage.  Gradual improvements that add up to more change.

Which leads to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  I cover 3 moves you can make for a better day. Two of the moves involve one tool I have used with my coaching clients for years.  It is a powerful process that has led to some pretty amazing transformations.

The other is just one to add in… or constantly improve… depending upon whether it is already a part of your life or not.

If you are ready to build a better day, these 3 moves can be the key.  And guess what?  It will only shift 30 minutes of your day.  All for a huge shift in life!

You can listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Personal Kaizen
Being Growth Oriented
Morning Shift for a Better Day
Evening Shift for a Better Day
Grab the Thrive Journal – NOW AVAILABLE!

5 Strategies for Better Sleep

When you can’t sleep.  5 strategies for getting better sleep.How are you sleeping?  If you are like the majority of Americans, at least one night a week, not well! And if you are like over 1/3rd of workers, you are not getting the recommended minimum of sleep.  Which is why more than 40% of people use some over-the-counter product to get to sleep (which does not include the number of people using a prescribed product for sleep).

Research is pretty consistent:  adults need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of nightly sleep in order to be healthy.  More than 9 can indicate a problem.  And less than 7 can lead to health problems like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diabetes.  It also has a psychological toll.

But if you are struggling with getting sleep, none of what I just wrote comes as a surprise… which is why you are trying to get the rest you need.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I discuss 5 strategies for betting better sleep. Most are simple, but all are important, if you struggle to get the rest you need.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Thriving Body series
End Your Day on a High Note
5 Ways to Shift Your Day from Stressful to Restful
Breathe for Health and Calm
Thrive Principles Book

What Stage Are You In? – Pandemic Grief

Stages of grief and the covid pandemic.Have you ever had the experience of a doctor telling you what was wrong with you, and even if you couldn’t really do anything, it helped to know what it was?  Maybe it was just an ache or pain, a small illness.  Just having a name for it — even some fancy latin term (or maybe especially some latin term) — somehow makes it seem better.  Naming something helps us feel some control.

This pandemic has stripped us of many feelings of control.  It more often feels like life is disrupted and dangerous.  Early in the pandemic — but far enough in that it was clear we were headed down a long path — I was wondering why it took me so long to process that we were in for a long-haul… with implications for every segment of life.  Why had I “missed” the signs?

Denial.  That is what I realized.  I had been playing the denial game.

Which reminded me that I was experiencing a grief response.  I was in grief!  From the pandemic.  Well, the pandemic losses and impact.

Over the next few weeks, as I talked with individuals and organizations, I noticed that we were all in collective grief, as well as experiencing the individual grief.  And as the pandemic has continued, I have noticed that people are experiencing the different stages of grief at different times.  That very fact seems to be at the root of much of the struggles I see played out on social media and regular media.  Clashing stages.

Still, stages.  Grief comes in stages. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross noted 5 stages.  Her colleague, David Kessler, has more recently added a potential 6th stage (an aspirational stage for many).  The point of describing the stages is not so much to force people on through the stages.  It is more for being able to name the stage for what it is.  The capacity of looking at where you are and naming the stage gives a sense of control.  And when we have some sense of control, we can choose whether we are where we want to be, or if we would rather shift.  The shift becomes an option.

Or we can just name the stage and know that is what we are experiencing.

What stage of grief are you in?  I discuss the 5+1 stages in this week’s episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on Grief
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on The Paradox of Pandemic
Book by Lee Baucom, Thrive Principles
Coping with Covid Series of Podcasts

Finding Moments of Calm in Times of Chaos

David Dachinger and Tamara Green, how to find calm in chaotic times, using the Loving Meditations App.What a chaotic time we are in!  Even without a pandemic, it was already chaotic, what with politics and changes in society. Stir in a pandemic, and there is NO way to be calm.

Right?

Or maybe….

Maybe calm is not about what is happening around you, outside of you. Perhaps it comes from somewhere within you. Somewhere that knows you are separate from the external chaos.

Our internal response to a chaotic world can be chaos… or we might be able to find calm. Especially if we can separate our thoughts from the events and emotions. If we can find a space between what is happening and how we respond.  A space that is rooted in peace.

On this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I have a chance to speak with David Dachinger and Tamara Green.  David is a firefighter and a Grammy nominated music composer (quite the contrast there!).  And Tamara is an author and licensed therapist.

When David was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (there IS no stage 5), his world shifted chaos from fighting fires to fighting cancer. He and Tamara realized that they needed to rally their resources to help in David’s health and healing. That included meditation and mindfulness. The resources they developed are now helping others to find calm in the midst of chaos.

Not a bad goal in today’s world, is it?

Listen below to hear their story and their method of bringing calm to the world through an app.

RELATED RESOURCES
LovingMeditations App
David and Tamara’s Website
Calming Your Thriving Body Episode
A Thriving Breath Episode
Coping with COVID Series
Thrive Principles Book

Thinking Through The Pandemic

Coping with COVID Series

 

Donald Robertson, modern Stoic philosopher and therapist.I was at a book signing a while back, signing a book of mine that is a few years old.  This person picked it up, looked at the publication date, put it down, and said, “I was looking for something more recent.”

That had me pondering… how long is information valid?  Sure, I would not likely want to read a computer book about the Windows 98 operating system, or about the coming “Y2K crisis.”  But what about transformational information?  When does that lose value?

Human brains have not changed in structure for millenia.  Which is why we still garner insight and understanding from books written millenia ago.  Ancient thoughts and texts still illuminate us these days.

Which brings me to my guest this week on the Thriveology Podcast.  I asked Donald Robertson to talk with me about some pretty old thoughts.  No, Donald is not millenia old.  But the philosophy he espouses and teaches is.  Donald is a modern Stoic philosopher, drawing on ancient Stoicism and what it offers to us in our current world.

And in our current pandemic situation, Stoic thought has LOTS to teach us.  In fact, Stoic thought is the underlying philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the cornerstone of modern mental health counseling.

Donald discusses the relevance of Stoic philosophy in today’s world, and how we can apply it to the pandemic in which we find ourselves.  Listen in as Donald Robertson gives some powerful help in dealing with our thoughts and our emotions in the midst of today’s (and future) struggles.

RELATED RESOURCES
DonaldRobertson.name
ModernStoicism.com
What Thriving People Know About Thoughts
Your Thoughts, Your Stories
Live Each Day as THE Day

Breathe for Your Health and Calm

Coping with COVID Series

James Nestor, author of Deep and Breath.It happens about 25,000 per day.  And for the most part, it is automatic.  But it is one of the few bodily functions that you can “take off automatic” and choose how you will do it.  And you might not be doing it optimally.

What is it?

Breathing.  Taking a breath.  Inhaling and exhaling.

I know, it seems automatic, right?  But you can choose to take a deep breath.  Or you can hold your breath.  You may breathe out of your nose.  Or you may breathe with your mouth (you may want to change that one… listen to the podcast for why).

Breathing one way can stress you out.  Breathing another way will calm you down (meaning, you can choose which way you want to breathe!).

Since you are currently reading this, we can assume you are breathing.  That’s a great start?  How about breathing BETTER?  That is a process that can take you down lots of paths.

On this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I interview James Nestor.  A journalist and writer, James got interested in breathing from an ealier book, Deep, which focused on freediving (people going very deep for a long time, because they are excellent breathers).

His upcoming (and excellent) book is Breath.  It is a super-deep (and very readable) “dive” into breathing — why it is important, how to do it better, and what difference it makes.

When I heard about the book, I knew I needed to get James on the podcast, at this moment.  His book won’t be out until May (but go ahead and pre-order it!).  But with the pandemic, you need this information now.  So, I got him on!  And James offered some simple, easy ways to uber-breathe to help your health.

This is super important.  Take a listen below!  (Then order his book!)

RELATED RESOURCES
Breath – from Amazon
Breath – from Bookstore.org (they support local bookstores)
James Nestor’s website

Coping with COVID Series

The COVID Coping SeriesWhat a time we are living through in the world!  The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many parts of culture and the economy to a screeching halt.  Other parts are overwhelmed with the pace.

Frontline and essential workers are feeling the overwhelm of responsibility.  Most of the rest are feeling the overwhelm of isolation.

We WILL get through this.  That is what we, as humans, do.  We overcome.  We rise to the challenge.  We push through.  And we will do the same with this crisis.

But between here and there, we have to live.  We can move beyond just surviving.  We just start with surviving.  And we reach from there.

Over the past month, I have been releasing podcast episodes that focus on dealing with the COVID crisis, both in terms of thriving and in terms of relationships.

I have grouped them together here, so you can find them easily.  Some are from my Thriveology Podcast, and others from my Save The Marriage Podcast.

Here they are:

THRIVING-ORIENTED EPISODES:

Thriving in an Age of Panic

Stay Sane While Staying Safe

How to Hope in Tough Times

The Fear/Anxiety Contagion

RELATIONSHIP-ORIENTED EPISODES:

What Now? – Saving your marriage in the midst of a pandemic

Staying the Course in a Crisis (or 2)

Coping as a Couple Caught in COVID Quarantine

Time for a Relationship Reset?

How to Hope in Tough Times

Coping with COVID Series

How to have hope in tough times — coronavirus and other times.Let me just say, I am a bit weary.  How about you?

This has been a wearying time for so many of us.  Nobody is unaffected by this pandemic.  And we can’t even point to an end to the crisis.  Take a guess, and your guess is probably as good as any other.

What do we do?  Everything seems to be upside-down, inside-out, and topsy-turvy.  It’s hard to figure out what happens next and what to do next.

Which means that some people are beginning to feel hopeless.

Early in my career, as a hospital chaplain, I saw what happens when people have hope… and when they lose hope.  But I didn’t really have any way to help people who were hitting hopelessness.  I just saw the damage.

Thanks to other researchers, I am more clear about how we can build and hold hope, even in tough times.  If you can’t hold it in tough times, it just needs some boosting, and some knowledge.

Let’s talk about hope, tough times, and the Hope Formula.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Stress
Dealing with Loss and Grief
Dealing with Depression
Dealing with Fear and Anxiety
Lee Baucom’s Books

 

Stay Sane While Staying Safe

Coping with COVID Series

How to stay sane while staying safe in Did you hear about the guy who had been on a meditation retreat for a couple of weeks?  He went in with “life as usual.”  And he emerged into a whole new world.  One where people are practicing social distance, sheltering at home, and scared.  One where restaurants, coffee shops, and bars are closed or limited.  One where every cough is scary.

And one where we are trying to figure out the “new normal.”

How are you doing with it?  Feeling the stress or finding your calm?  Struggling with your day, or finding a new routine for your day?

One issue with this crisis is we don’t have an end date.  Nor do we know how bad (or not so bad) things might be — which is influenced by what we do as citizens and fellow humans!

How do we stay sane while we are trying to stay safe?  That is my subject for this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

Let’s talk about some strategies for doing your best to live your best in the midst of this crisis.  Basically, how to stay sane while being safe.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Need some reading?  Check out my books.
CDC Info Page on the Coronavirus Crisis
WHO Info Page on the Coronavirus Crisis
Thriving In An Age of Panic Episode

Thriving in an Age of Panic

Coping with COVID Series

How to thrive in an age of panic — dealing with the corona virus pandemic without panic.When I recorded this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, it was almost another world.  Many people were still minimizing the novel coronavirus.  Even politicians were downplaying the severity and impact.

So much has changed.  Many, if not most, schools are closed to face-to-face instruction.  Many workers are working from home, where possible.  Lots of restaurants are only serving by delivery or take-out.  New guidelines suggest not being around more than 10 people… and that number may go down.

The world has changed, almost overnight.

It affects us all… making this episode just as important, if not more so.

We are going to have to define what it means to thrive.  That is what happens when it feels like every day is an attempt to survive.

Here is the good news:  humanity will prevail. We can thrive. Life WILL go on.  But it will never be the same.  Things will change.  How we used to do things will disappear, but new ways will appear.

I know these are scary times.  But we will get through this.  Together.

That’s what we do.

Lisen to the episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
CDC Information
WHO Information
Johns Hopkins Guide to Coronavirus
Check Out My Books to Help Thrive