5 Actions to Take Now Labor Day Has Come and Gone – Even If It Feels Like Tomorrow Is Just Another Day

There are two days of the year that mark major times of transition – Labor Day and New Year’s Day.

Both days mark the end of a season and the beginning of a period when things begin to shift. Both days are full of the possibilities of great things to come.

It’s important not to let this time of transition slip by you without standing still and taking note. Times of transition are when important things happen. Who wants to miss out on that?

So pay attention. Life is short. Don’t let it pass you by. Here is my latest…

5 Actions to Take Now Labor Day Has Come and Gone.

 

#1 – Take a deep breath.

Summer is always a crazy time. School is out and routines are broken. The weather is great and you just want to be outside. There are BBQs with friends and family reunions. The kids are out of school and you are all running around from activity to activity.

And now it’s over. It is important that you pause, if only for a moment but hopefully more, and take a deep breath.

Think about your summer. What was joyous and what was not so much. Think about time spent with family and friends. Think about the conversations and the insights and the experiences that you had.

Remember, consider and relish the summer of 2016.

Why? Because what happened this summer could very well influence what comes next for you. In many ways, you are not the same person you were on July 4th.

#2 – Choose a room and clean it out.

Nothing helps clear the head during times of transition like cleaning out a room. Something about the energy of throwing away all that stuff works wonders for gaining some clarity and vision.

So choose a room, the laundry room, your closet, your garage. Allot a few hours on a Saturday and go at it.

Choose a corner of the room, garbage bag in hand and start throwing things away. Things that you aren’t using, that are broken, that are expired. Put them in that garbage bag. Things that you are still using and keeping get placed nicely back where they belong.

If you aren’t sure whether or not something needs to be thrown out, consider when the last time was that you touched that thing, or even thought about it. If it was over 3 months ago, it’s gone. Acknowledge and be thankful for the role that it played in your life and then say goodbye.

Work your way around the room, repeating this process. Don’t skip ahead. Do all four sides of the room.

When you are done notice where you are. You will feel lighter, more clearheaded about what you want. And later on, if you start to feel overwhelmed, visit that cleaned out room. You will be glad you did.

#3 – Take a good hard look at what you want for your life.

Every year at New Years we make resolutions. Resolutions about how things are going to be different this year. We will be happier. We will be nicer to our spouses. We will excel at work.

More often than not those resolutions fall by the wayside.

One big reason that resolutions fail is that we make those resolutions without looking at how they really fit into the life we have. Can we just decide to be happier? To be nicer to our spouse? To be more patient at work? Not so much.

To stick to a resolution you have to define how you can make change within the parameters of your life. To be happier you need to know what makes you unhappy. To be nicer to your spouse you need to examine why you aren’t nice to them now. And why ARE you so impatient with your co-workers?

Take some time and really identify where you are in your life. Are you living a life that makes you happy? That makes you proud? That is consistent with the life goals that you set for yourself back when you were younger?

Make resolutions for the fall. And examine how you can make them stick. Remember, now is your time.

#4 – Make a list of what next steps to take.

A big part of keeping your resolutions is making a list of what will help you stick to them. To live the life of your dreams.

Would being happier mean that you spend an hour a day painting? Or perhaps mentoring a child in need? Or dancing around the kitchen before dinner?

What would have to happen for you to be nicer to your spouse? Would identifying what makes you unkind be a good first step? Would taking a deep breath before speaking help? Perhaps recognizing that you need to take a bigger approach and seek counseling?

And what about your patience at work? Is it a pesky co-worker or boss? Is it boredom or frustration? Would working on your resume so you can transition to a new job make it better?

Make a list. Think about those resolutions and picture how you can make them happen in your life. And then write it down. And then read it. And then take action.

You can do it!

#5 – Do something really fun for yourself.

Yes, I have challenged you to do reach for some lofty goals. And I really hope you will take me up on the challenge.

But first, do something for yourself. Something that really makes your heart sing. It can be anything.

Re-read the whole Harry Potter series. Buy every kind of Ben and Jerry’s and try a new flavor every night. Go to Victoria’s Secret and buy yourself something that makes you feel great. Take your car out on a back road and drive fast, sun-roof open, music blaring.

The sky is the limit. And it’s yours for the taking.

So there you go…. my 5 Actions to Take Now Labor Day Has Come and Gone.

Summer was wonderful and is now over. Fall, and winter, approach.

Take the time to look at your life and make sure you are on the path to living your dreams. But also make sure you take care of yourself along the way.

Remember. You only have one life to live. Make sure that it’s the life you have always wanted. Full of joy, purpose and love.

Looking for more ideas about living the life of your dreams? Contact me now and lets get started.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Reasons Every Woman Needs to Vote – Even if the Options Are Not So Appealing

The 2016 presidential election is one great big mess. Americans have the choice to vote for one of the two least popular candidates in modern history. Not good.

I have spoken with many women how have said that they just aren’t going to vote. I always respond “But you have to!”

According to exit polls, 53 percent of people who voted in the 2012 election were women. In most states there are more women than men registered to vote and there is a much higher turnout rate for women at the polls.

These numbers mean power. And it’s time for women to wield that power. Here it is, my latest… 

5 Reasons Every Woman Needs to Vote.

 

#1 – To honor the women who came before.

The battle for a woman’s right to vote started in the early 1800s with Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott, among others, working hard to establish women’s equality with men.

For almost 100 years women fought for that equality, part of which was the right to vote. They were humiliated and discriminated against, the subject of derision and sometimes violence for their efforts. They didn’t give up. Even when they were imprisoned and forced to hunger strike these women fought on.

It wasn’t until 1920 that the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was passed by the US government. Even so, many states didn’t ratify the amendment for years. Mississippi didn’t do so until 1984, 60 years later and only 32 years ago.

32 years ago women in Mississippi could not vote.

Don’t take the right to vote for granted. It was hard fought for and we women need to exercise our right proudly.

#2 – To honor the women we are now.

There is much being said these days about the persistent lack of equality for women in the world. Women make less money on the dollar than men in the workplace. Women who are ambitious are labeled “bitches.” Women are discriminated against for getting pregnant or for having to take care of children. Women are subjected to emotional and physical abuse at the hands of bosses and husbands.

It is time for this to end. And it will only end if we women take a stand.

In her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg talks about how women are held back but also how we hold ourselves back. She makes the argument that women need to advocate more for themselves, to believe themselves equal to men, to not allow discrimination to hold them back from anything

She says that it is up to us to change our stars. No one else will do it for us.

Voting is one way for us to do this, to “Lean In.”  We have the right to vote. We have the right to have a say in the politics of our nation. We have the right to use our voices, the voices we often only whisper with, to bring about real change.

#3 – Because every vote counts.

I know it doesn’t seem that way. Presidents have been elected in spite of the fact that they didn’t win the popular vote. But your vote matters, particularly in your home state.

Each state has a different number of electoral votes and that number is based on the total of all of it’s representatives in Congress, both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. A candidate needs 270 of those electoral votes to win the presidency.

In most states for a candidate to win that state, and it’s corresponding electoral votes, he or she must receive the majority of it’s popular vote. This is where your vote counts. Your vote will contribute towards a candidate winning, or losing, a state which will in turn determine the outcome of the presidential campaign.

If you don’t cast your vote your candidate could lose your state and, maybe, ultimately, the presidency.

#4 – Because important women’s issues are now at stake.

Right now, more than ever, there are important women’s issues at stake and the next president could have a huge hand in which direction those women’s issues go.

At issue right now is:
*A woman’s right to access Planned Parenthood
*Paid family leave
*Income equality
*Minimum wage increases
*Debt free education

The outcome of all of these issues will have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of our daughters and granddaughters. We can’t just sit back and think that “everyone else” will take care of this. We need to exercise our right to make a real difference. By voting.

#5 – To set a good example for our children.

I remember in 1976 my mother taking me with her to vote. It was the year that Jimmy Carter was running against Gerald Ford. This was not a campaign that had electrified the nation.

I remember driving to the voting booth and my mother telling me about my great-grandmother (and namesake) who fought for the right to vote and how her lawyer husband fought alongside her (and got her out of jail when she was imprisoned). She impressed upon me the importance of voting out of respect for our grandmothers and those who fought alongside them.

I went into the voting booth with her and watched her cast her vote. And we got “I VOTED” stickers afterwards, which was huge.

Our children increasingly take the right to vote for granted and they are increasingly disillusioned by modern politics. It is important for us to teach them, to demonstrate for them, how important this fundamental American right is.

And how by doing so they can make a real difference in the world.

So there you go…5 Reasons Every Woman Needs to Vote.

Every American has the right to vote and that right shouldn’t be ignored or dismissed or taken for granted. Without it our country would be a different place.

And we women, we have the power to change things. In so many ways. Voting is one of them. So get out and vote this year.

Let’s change the world!

Looking for more ideas about how to change your world? Contact me and let’s make it happen!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things to Choose if You Want to be Happy – Even if It Seems Completely Out of Reach

You know that person. The one who is always happy. Nothing seems to get them down. They are successful, have good friends, exude confidence and are just fun to be with.

Is this you?

Everybody wants to be happy. It seems pretty simple doesn’t it? But the reality is different. Happiness is a choice. A few choices actually. And it’s totally within reach for everyone. Here is my latest:

5 Things to Choose if You Want to be Happy.

 

#1 – Choose truth.

You know those decisions that make your stomach hurt. The ones that you make because your brain tells you it’s the “right” thing to do, not because it’s what you really want.

Yes. Those decisions. You probably made one today.

Those decisions are not based on your truth. They are based on some truth outside of yourself, some truth that is based on what everyone else says is “right.” These decisions are not good for you.

Making decisions based on what you really want, what will truly be good for you, are decisions based on your truth. These kind of decisions feel good in your body. These decisions allow you to sleep at night. Decisions not based on our truth can actually make us sick and definitely interfere with our happiness.

How do we stop making these unhealthy choices? We listen to our bodies.

Next time, when presented with a decision that needs to be made, pause and check how each potential decision makes your body feel. Our bodies will only tell us the truth. If the decision makes you feel slightly nauseous then it’s probably not a good one. If it makes your head hurt, the same. If it makes your heart leap, then that’s it. That’s the healthy decision.

Listen to your body. Unlike your brain, it will never lie to you!

# 2 – Choose love.

Everyone wants to love and be loved. And ideally everyone would share their life with that ONE person. The one you curl up with at night and eat cereal with in the morning. The one whose hand you hold on the subway and with whom you binge watch “Sons of Anarchy” at night. You know the person. The one who makes your heart sing.

If you have a person, don’t let them go. And if you don’t, believe that you will. Especially if you are happy.

If you don’t have that person right now you know that you have other people in your life who love you: your sister, your best friend, your neighbor. Make sure that you have contact with someone who loves you every day. In person, on the phone or via text (last choice).

And don’t forget to love yourself. You are awesome. Tell yourself as often as you can. Because you are.

#3 – Choose yourself.

You know how you choose to make everyone else happy first? You go to that raunchy movie with your kids instead of that historical drama you want to see. Or you visit your mother in law with your husband instead of working in the garden? We all do it. And it undermines our happiness.

Sometimes we do have to put someone else’s needs above our own but, really, it’s important to put ourselves first more often than not. Nobody else is going to take care of us and it’s important that we do so. If you always put yourself last you will truly come to believe that you are last. Being last will definitely not make you happy.

Think back to that fight you had with your husband while driving home from his mother’s house. Enough said.

#4 – Choose kindness.

Did you know being kind to someone else is one of the best ways to feel happy?

Think about the look on that woman’s face when you raced after her to return the wallet that she left in the store. Or the way the barista reacted this morning when, after dealing with customer after customer who had not yet had their coffee, you thanked them with a big smile and a compliment.

Being kind is not hard to do but so many of us forget to be in this crazy, jam packed and exhausting world that we live in. Making that small effort to make someone else happy can go a long way to making you feel happy too.

#5 – Choose to believe.

A key ingredient in being happy is believing that you can be. Really.

It’s not an easy thing. When you are unhappy it’s almost impossible to believe that you ever could be happy. When you are unhappy and you look ahead you are doing so with that unhappy feeling in your gut. Your future life seems hopeless because you are unhappy right now. But you gotta believe.

Believing in anything is the best way to manifest it. Believe that you will get that job and you will. Believe that you will find that love and you will. Believe that you will be happy and you will.

How to believe? Visualize that job. Feel how it will feel to have it. Store that feeling in your body and summon it when you have doubt. The same with love. Picture that perfect someone. Feel how it will feel to be loved by them. Picture yourself happy and do the same.

It really works. Try it and see.

So there you go : 5 Things to Choose if You Want to be Happy.

Happiness is a state of mind. A state of being. If you make choices that cause physical pain, that keep you from sleeping, that make you feel hopeless, you will never find it.

Try it. Try putting yourself first, loving yourself and those around you, being kind, being truthful. Believing. What a difference it will make.

I promise.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Survive Your Child Going off to College – Even if the Prospect Seems Unbearable

Your kid is going off to college. Holy s*%t.

While there were some occasions a few years back when you thought this moment couldn’t come soon enough, now that it’s here the prospect is hitting you like a ton of bricks.

Your child is leaving. That force of nature who has lived in your house for 18 years. How are you going to survive that loss?

Surviving, and even thriving, is not only possible but probable. Here is my latest…

5 Ways to Survive Your Child Going off to College – Even if the Prospect Seems Unbearable

 

#1 – Pay attention to how you are feeling.

Most likely your body is in physical pain, a result of psychological suffering at the loss of your child. And most likely the center point of that pain is your stomach. The pain is sharp and relentless and makes you feel like you are going to die.

That pain is from anxiety. Anxiety that your child won’t be able to survive without you. That you won’t be able to survive without them. That everything will be different now and how do you deal with that? That pain comes directly from your brain, from your thoughts. Frustrating, no?

There are two ways to deal with that pain.

The first is to talk back to that brain of yours. Tell it that it is being ridiculous. That your child is ready to do this and will be fine. That you have survived their being toddlers and teenagers so you can survive their leaving. And change is good. It’s not easy to talk back to your thoughts but you can do it.

The second is to remember to breathe. Big deep breaths that go down to your belly. Breath in for 3 seconds and out for 5. This kind of breathing will actually calm the stress response in your body, ease your stomach pain and help clear your head. Repeat as necessary.

#2 – Revel in their successes and opportunities.

Your child is going to COLLEGE. How huge is that?

Since they were born one of your dreams for them has been college. College opens up doors for our kids. It allows them to think deep, dream big and share it with all kinds of like-minded and other-minded people. It will clear pathways that will take them forward into the rest of their lives.

And don’t forget the role that you have played in all of this. It is because of you that they are ready to fly, to leave home and thrive. Don’t underestimate the value of this. Without you this never could have happened!

#3 – Cry. But not too much.

It’s okay that that you are feeling sad. Of course you are. And your child is feeling sad too. Leaving home leads to mixed emotions.

Tell your child that you are sad that they are leaving and that you are going to miss them. They need to know. It’s important that they see real emotion from you, emotions that they can mirror as they want.

DON’T go on and on repeatedly about how much you will miss them. Don’t lie on their bed as they pack, sobbing. Don’t make a scene when you drop them off at the dorm. Even if you feel like bursting into tears, don’t. There is time enough for that on the car ride home.

You don’t want to burden your child with the guilt of your sadness because doing so might hamper their ability to assimilate into their new school. This is not good.

So cry… but within reason.

#4 – Plan a visit. But not tomorrow.

Colleges and universities have it all figured out. Usually by October, when everyone is missing each other A LOT, there are parent weekends scheduled. This is a weekend where the kids get to share their new home with you and you get to buy them things. Fun times are had by all.

So plan to do this (and make hotel reservations well ahead of time as they tend to fill up). Planning will make you happy.

DO NOT plan to visit your child before that. Don’t stop by to do their laundry or help with their homework or just because you miss them. It’s like summer camp – they need to go cold turkey from their parents to really settle in. You being around will prevent that from happening.

#5 – Take a good look at the rest of your life.

Even if this child is not your last to leave home now is the time where your life will start to change.

You have spent the past 18 years devoting yourself to your children and running your household. You have given so much of yourself, happily, but now it’s time to start taking care of you.

Take a good hard look at the choices you have made that have brought you to where you are today. Take a good hard look at where you want to be in the next half of your life. Take a good hard look at what is important to you.

This is it. This is your time. You have age and you have wisdom and now it’s time to start at least laying the groundwork to living the life that you have always wanted.

So there you go – 5 Ways to Survive Your Child Going off to College – Even if the Prospect Seems Unbearable..

The next few weeks will be tough but you, and your child, will get through it. It’s also a magical time, a time for your child to enter his or her world and for you to begin to grow in yours.

Embrace it. It only happens once.

Need any more ideas about how to survive and thrive? Contact me and I can help!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Survive a Broken Heart – Even if All You Want to Do is Curl Up in a Ball and Cry

I remember so well my first broken heart. It was 9th grade and Bobby Fortunato, the guy of my dreams, had just broken up with me. We had been going out for two whole weeks. My mom took pity on me and let me stay home in bed and eat jello. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Truly, there might be nothing as bad as a broken heart. The pain, both in your heart and in your head, is almost unbearable. The end of a relationship is like a death… you grieve for your loss and you feel a huge emptiness, one that you are sure you will never again be able to fill.

I am here to tell you there are ways to get through your grief not only intact but even better than you were before.

Here are my 5 Ways to Survive a Broken Heart – Even if All You Want to Do is Curl Up in a Ball and Cry.

#1 – Pay Attention your body.

Most likely your body is in physical pain, the result of psychological suffering. And the most likely center point of that pain is your stomach. The pain is sharp and relentless and makes you feel like you are going to die.

That pain is from anxiety. Anxiety that you are less than, that you will never love again, that you will be alone, that you are unlovable. That pain comes directly from your brain, from your thoughts. Not so helpful, right?

There are two ways to deal with that pain.

The first is to talk back to that brain of yours. Tell it that it is being ridiculous. That you are amazing, that this loss will only create new opportunities, that you aren’t now, nor ever will you be, alone. It’s not easy but you can do it.

The second is to remember to breathe. Big deep breaths that go down to your belly. Breath in for 3 seconds and out for 4. This kind of breathing will actually calm the stress response in your body, ease your stomach pain and help clear your head. Repeat as necessary.

#2 – Manage your media.

This is a key element in grief management. You have music, you have video, you have social media. USE THEM. They will get you out of your head and inspire you to be powerful.

I make a playlist when I am going through hard times. The songs are about empowerment, about survival, about living life fully. They go on my I-phone and then get played in my car as I go about my day. And yes, I sing along. Loudly.

Movies work the same way. There are so many movies out there about overcoming the odds, getting through hard times and emerging better than before. Find them. Watch them. Be inspired by them. Even cry with them (yes, crying is ok. even good. sometimes great. but don’t wallow).

Be careful of social media. Yes, it is a great tool for feeling connected and distracted but if you have a tendency to stalk, and it causes you pain, then tread lightly. YouTube might be better than Facebook…or so my teenage daughter tells me.

#3 – Do Good.

Nothing feels better than helping out someone in need. Helping out someone else while you are at your lowest feels even better, believe it or not.

When you are grieving it is really easy to turn inside yourself, to feel like you are in the worst place a person could be. And while where you are does suck, there are others out there who are as bad off or worse. And by helping them you are also helping yourself.

There are plenty of ways to help out. You can help an elderly neighbor mow their lawn, you can volunteer at a library and help children learn to read. Hospitals are always in need of people to help in a variety of capacities. I worked in palliative care for a while. Wow, did that give me some perspective and appreciation of the life I was living.

Pick one. Do it. See how good it makes you feel and make someone else feel better in the process.

#4 – Get hot.

Yes, you read that right. Get hot.

Exercise is one of the best ways to manage grief. During exercise your body produces endorphins and endorphins actually make you feel better. And, as a side benefit, exercise also gets you in shape.

Imagine having the body that you have always wanted – you know what body I am talking about. Now is the time to get it. Start exercising to help manage your grief and use it to get in great shape and to feel better about yourself.

And, while it’s not about revenge, let your ex eat his heart out when next he sees you!

#5 – Believe, believe, believe.

Yes, right now your heart is broken. You just can’t imagine being able to get through this day or the next. You know that you will never love or be loved again. Sigh.

No! You have to believe. You have to believe that your great love is out there. That you are more than a little loveable and that what you are going through is only temporary. Think about what you want and work on truly believing that you will get it. And then take the steps to do so. You can do it!

And, if you are feeling hot and full of self confidence from all that exercise and surviving your grief, imagine what that special someone will think when they first lay eyes on you. WOW!

Now that’s a great place for your pesky brain to go, don’t you think?

So there you go… my 5 Ways to Survive a Broken Heart – Even if All You Want to Do is Curl Up in a Ball and Cry.

Your world seems like it is over but it’s not. Use my coping techniques and not only will you get through today and tomorrow in one piece but you will build the strength of body and character that will ultimately help you achieve your dreams and find the love of your life.

Seeking more advice for the lovelorn? Contact me now and I can help!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!