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Are You Productive? Find Out By Answering These 5 Questions

Are you productive? Do you find yourself struggling every day to get everything done that you need to get done and still have some time left for yourself?

Do you wonder if you just don’t have enough time or if you waste the time that you do have?

There are 5 questions that you should ask yourself if you are wondering if you are productive.

#1 – How much time do you spend on your screen?

Cell phones, pads and computers have taken over our lives and they are the number one cause of lack of productivity.

Have you heard of the term “screen suck?” It means the time that we spend on our computer when we don’t mean to. Like when you go on to ‘quickly check your email’ and end up still on an hour later having watched too many cute animal videos.

Being sucked into our screen kills productivity.

So how much time do you spend in in front of your screen? If it’s more than hour, spent surfing instead of getting work done, your productivity is probably lagging.

#2 – Do you have a ‘To-Do’ list?

The most productive people have a list of things that need to get done.

As much as we would all like to believe that we can maintain a running list to-do in our head, it is almost impossible to do so.

Between work and family and social life and work there are so many things that need to get done and to get them done you must keep track of them.

So, if you don’t have an ongoing list, one that prioritizes things that need to get done, you most likely aren’t as productive as you could be.

#3 – Can you say NO?

You know when that mom approaches you at pick-up time and asks if you would mind running the annual school auction? Or when your boss asks you to take over yet another project? How good are you at saying NO?

The most productive people know how many hours they have available in the day and are strong enough to say NO instead of adding one more thing to their already heavy load.

On top of being less productive, when you take on too many things you also become less effective. You can’t do the things you take on as well as you might because you just can’t devote the mental and physical energy needed to do it.

So learn to say NO! Your productivity will increase immediately if you do.

#4 – Can you ask for help?

The most productive people in the world are NOT the people who try to do it all themselves. The most productive people in the world are the ones who are willing to delegate and share tasks to get things done efficiently.

Do you need to do everything in order to get that new project completed on time or are there people you can ask to support you in this endeavor?

Can you take on that school auction and still keep your household running well or might it be a good idea to get someone in to clean your house a couple of times a month?

In this world it’s almost a badge of honor to be so busy that you barely sleep and feel constantly overwhelmed. But the most productive people don’t wear that badge. They know that by asking for help they will be more efficient and effective in their endeavors and not struggle with being overwhelmed and exhausted.

#5 – Are you taking care of yourself?

Being a productive person in the world depends a lot on your physical and emotional wellbeing.

If you are someone who never gets enough sleep, doesn’t eat well or struggles with depression being productive will be challenging.

To be productive you need to have mental clarity and physical stamina. So take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, take a walk and pay attention to your mental health.

If you do you will be well fortified in your efforts to be productive.

So, after asking yourself those questions, what is the answer? Are you productive?

If not, then follow my suggestions.

Limit your screen time, make a list, learn to say no, to ask for help and take care of your physical and mental health.

This is a jam-packed, chaotic and exhausting world that we live in but you can make your little corner of it less so by managing your habits so that you can be productive.

Imagine going to bed at night with most of the things on your list crossed off? How great would that feel?

So go for it! Change those habits and answer YES to the question ‘Are you productive?’

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 Tips For Being Productive When Depressed

You know those days when you wake up depressed and you know that it’s important that you be productive nonetheless? Those are rough days!

It is possible to be productive when you are depressed. It might at times feel like you are climbing a mountain backwards in flip flops but if you have to be productive it IS possible.

Here are 5 essential tips for being productive when depressed.

#1 – Get out of bed!

This, obviously, is the most essential piece of being productive when depressed. And it’s most probably the hardest.

For most of us bed is our favorite place to be when we are depressed. It’s cozy and warm and safe and we can sleep away our sadness. At least for a while.

But to be productive you have to get out of it. Which is hard but imperative.

People I know who suffer from depression have a myriad of tricks to get themselves out of bed and stay out of bed. They place their alarm clock across the room and when it goes off they have to get out of bed to turn it off. Some people strip their sheets off their bed once they are out or even take their mattress off it’s box spring. Whatever it takes to keep them out of bed and getting started on their day.

#2 – Exercise.

The second most important piece of being productive when depressed is getting some exercise.

I know! The prospect seems herculean but what a difference it will make if you can do it!

Exercise produces endorphins which is exactly the chemical that is deficient when you are depressed. Exercise will help replete your bodies supply of endorphins, at least for a while.

And newly stocked your body, and mind, will able to be more productive.

So get out and do something. Take a walk, go for a run, do some yoga, play frisbee. Whatever you enjoy that will get your heart rate up and those endorphins flowing.

#3 – Choose one thing to get done.

Sometimes all it takes is doing one thing to get out of a depressed stupor.

Sitting in your bed, or on your sofa, pondering all of the things that you have to do can be so daunting that you give up completely and instead binge watch The Walking Dead. That is not productive.

Instead of focusing on everything you need to get done consider ONE thing. And get up off the couch and do that one thing.

Often times, if we are able to break our stupor and get something done we will feel so good that we will want to go on to another thing. And, while we might still feel depressed, we are being productive which will ultimately help put that depression at bay.

#4 – Choose to do things that you CAN do.

When I am depressed there are some things that I am absolutely not capable of doing. Making phone calls is one of them. I hate making phone calls on a good day. On a depressed day, forget about it.

I do know that on a depressed day there are some things that I can do. I can sort through my piles of paper and recycle and file them as necessary. I can go through and clean up my email inbox. I can do research on future blogs. I can go for a walk.

I know my things might seem weird but they are my things. Think about the things that you could do when you are depressed. And do them. Because even if you can’t make phone calls doing something else is definitely productive.

#5 – Let yourself off the hook.

Okay. You are depressed. And it sucks. But it is what it is.

Recognize that you are depressed and that you will have to ride it out. And in the meantime you might not be as productive as you would like to be but you are as productive as you can be.

If you don’t let yourself off the hook, don’t recognize that this depression will pass and that you will become your old self again, you will only sink into a deeper sadness which could fuel your inability to be productive.

So take care of yourself. Recognize that you are in a tough place and that you are doing your best nonetheless.

And then get up and do that one thing!

Being depressed is horrible. Being productive when depressed can seem impossible. But it doesn’t have to be!

Living with depression is like carrying a 50lb gorilla on your back. It’s debilitating and exhausting. But it doesn’t have to defeat you.

Get out of bed, exercise, choose one thing to do, do it and let yourself off the hook.

Trust me! You will be glad you did.

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 Super Effective Ways to Survive a Broken Heart

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 worse than 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 Super Effective Ways to Survive a Broken Heart.

#1 – Shut down the pain.

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: 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.

Say those words OUT LOUD. Speaking words out loud, instead of keeping them in our head, releases the words into the world energetically which makes them more powerful. Try it. It’s true.

The second: remember to breathe.

Big deep breaths that go down to your belly. Breathe 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 FOR GOOD. 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 okay. even good. sometimes great. but don’t wallow).

Be careful with 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 just 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. Boy, 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.

Want to talk more about fixing your broken heart? Let’s do it!

#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 – Don’t stop believing in love.

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 Super Effective Ways to Survive a Broken Heart.

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.

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 Questions to Ask Yourself If You are Unhappy

Being unhappy is horrible. It can take over your life and suck all that is good and joyful out of it. None of us want to be unhappy but many of us are.

One thing many of us don’t ask ourselves is why we are unhappy. We have a vague understanding that our lives are not what we hoped they would be but we don’t know specifically why.

In an effort to help you identify what specifically is making you unhappy I have five questions for you. Answer them in terms of your own life and you will get the answers you are looking for.

Here is my latest: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You are Unhappy.

#1 – Are you proud of the choices you are making?

All of us having internal guiding principles that are important to us, things like the importance of trust or honesty or loyalty. These guiding principles light our path to living our best life but unfortunately they can get lost as life happens.

Do you know what your guiding principles are and are your living them?

I have a client who was having an affair with a married man. He made her deliriously happy, or so she told herself. But still she didn’t feel good about her life and she didn’t know why.

I asked her what her guiding principles were – what was most important to her in a relationship?

After some thought and discussion she realized that the truth was of paramount importance to her. And that nothing about her relationship with the married man was based on truth.

“Are you able to live with that?” I asked. “And be happy?”

The answer was no and she soon moved on. On into a relationship that was based on truth and trust and she is happy.

#2 – Is your relationship making your heart sing?

Our romantic relationships are very important, more important than many of us recognize.

In this modern world we are told that we should be able to take care of ourselves and that to rely on another to bring us some happiness is a sign of weakness.

But this just simply is not true.

Happy committed relationships provide much that is essential to human survival: commitment, communication, touch, sharing, sex, support, laughter, joy, sex. When we have those things our lives are fuller, we are satisfied, we are loved. Other things can bring us down but the foundation of a good relationship helps us when we founder.

Being in a relationship isn’t necessary for happiness but being in a relationship that is toxic puts you on the surest path to being unhappy.

I have a client whose husband was always one of two things: absent or drunk. She wasn’t sure which was worse – his not being in the house or being drunk when he was. What she did know was that it was making her miserable. She was always hoping that things would change but they never did. She was alone in her marriage.

And the rest of her life? It foundered. Her parenting suffered, she stopped eating well and exercising and gained 20 pounds, her work was neglected and her crabbiness made her friends stay away.

What did she do? After much deliberation and overcoming lots of fear, she asked him to stay absent and she is fighting her way back to herself, on the path to living the life of her dreams.

#3 – Do you make a difference in the world?

I know you are going to say that you just don’t have time to volunteer. How could I possibly ask you to do that?

I am not going to ask you to do that. Although if it appeals you should try it. Volunteering makes the world go round.

What I mean by making a difference is asking you how you interact with others in the world. Did you smile at the checkout person at the grocery store? Do you hold doors for other people? Do you refrain from giving the man who cut you off in his BMW the finger? Do you pick up trash that you see in the street?

All of these things contribute to the world in a small way and doing them will make your life a better place as well. The act of smiling at someone will actually make you and the person you smiled at happier. Holding doors for people makes them feel noticed and you made it happen. Not giving someone the finger will allow you not to feel the pain of remorse in the middle of the night. And picking up that trash will literally make the world a more beautiful place.

So make a difference in the world every day. It will make you happier. I promise.

Want some help being happy? Let me help!

#4 – Do you feel healthy and strong?

You know when you go out on a long dock and it’s old and creaky and with each step you wonder if you are going to end up in the water? If you aren’t healthy and strong, like a good dock, you could find yourself drowning before you know it.

Taking care of yourself is the key to a foundation from which happiness can grow. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Exercise, but only so it makes you feel good. Do one thing that makes you happy every day, like a massage or lunch with a friend. Find a life coach, to get the support that you need.

If you feel healthy and strong you will be able to take on whatever life throws at you.

Wouldn’t that feel great?

#5 – Do you challenge yourself?

I know that I have my routines. I get up, walk my dog, do some yoga, work all day, walk my dog again, do errands, have dinner, take a bath and go to bed. Pretty much every day.

As a life coach I know that while routines are good for keeping us on track it is essential to challenge ourselves. Challenging yourself will keep your brain going strong, keep you physically confident and get that adrenaline rushing.

What do I mean by being challenged? It can be anything.

When I got divorced I promised myself that I would start doing all of the things that scared me. I learned how to ride a jet ski (which was awesome), I conquered my fear of driving in the snow (which was convenient), I took up crossword puzzles (which has made me way smarter) and I can now use power tools. Except for a drill.

It’s so hard to imagine now not being able to do those things. Doing them has given me so much more confidence in myself – not only that I can do them but that I challenged myself to overcome my fears and prevailed.

And did I mention that I was way smarter? That makes me happy.

So there you go. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Are Unhappy.

Unhappiness to so many of us is the status quo. We assume that this is the way life is and we must push through it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Happiness IS possible.

Are you making choices that are feeling good? Are you feeling loved and supported in your relationship? Did you make someone smile today? Is your foundation strong? Did you do something recently that got your adrenaline pumping?

If not, choose one and make it happen.

Happiness is yours for the taking. Today.

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!

5 Little Ways for Women to Feel Healthier, Even if Life Always Seems to Get in the Way

Every day moms take care of everyone else. That is just what we do. We make sure the kids are loved, fed, bathed and supported. Likewise our partners. We do our best to carry our share, or more, at work and always try to be a shoulder to cry on for our friends.

What we aren’t good at is taking care of ourselves. We set goals to go to the gym, or sleep more or eat better but in the end life gets in the way and we just let it go.

We don’t have to do this!

Here are 5 Little Ways for Women to Feel Healthier…

#1 – Every day do one thing that makes you happy. It doesn’t need to be a big thing but do something. Make a playlist for your car and listen to music that makes you sing out loud. Serve breakfast for dinner (because no one ever complains when dinner involves pancakes). Bring your book in the car and read a chapter while waiting to pick up the kids at school. Whatever small thing it is that makes your heart sing.

For me, when my kids were little, every Sunday was pizza night and then my People magazine and I would retire to the bathtub for an hour. I went to bed Sunday night happy and Monday mornings were much easier.

#2 – Replace the Oreos. I am willing to bet that before you had kids Oreos were not a staple of your diet. Am I wrong? But now they are because they are in the cupboard. You get tired, or stressed or bored, and there, right in front of you, is a little disk of self-indulgence. So you eat one, or 20, and you feel better for 30 seconds and then you feel not so good.

Keep something that you really love in the cupboard that will fill that need, when you get tired or stressed or bored, and go for that instead. Chocolate covered almonds or honey roasted peanuts or individually wrapped chocolates (so you can’t take a handful). And, if you have something that combines sugar and protein (like sweetened nuts) you won’t be affected by the sugar so quickly and you won’t get that Oreo cookie crash.

#3 – Play with your kids. We all have grand plans when our kids are born, to get down on the floor with them and play. And we do, at least until their sibling is born, and then we as often as not let them have at it.

Playing with your kids is proven to make you happier and happiness leads to healthiness. First of all, play makes you smile and the physical act of smiling actually makes you happy.  Also, by sheer definition, play is fun, more fun than work. So put on a tiara and frolic with your kids, at least for a bit. Try it!

One of my clients plays a game of cards with her kids and her husband every night after dinner. It only takes 20 minutes and they laugh and kid and enjoy each others company. And then off they go to homework etc. She reports that the 20 minutes makes the transitions easier and sets up a much smoother bedtime routine, every mother’s dream.

#4 – Get just a little more sleep. I know you are saying, “Yeah. Right.” But I am serious. Try to fit just a little more sleep into your day. Actually I am suggesting you build it into your schedule. Right there between going to the dry cleaners and finishing your project for the meeting. Make a plan to take a 15-minute nap right after lunch, before you head out to do errands. Or sleep 15 minutes later 3 times a week. Wherever you can fit in just a little more sleep.

If you sleep in 15 minutes 3 days a week that’s 45 minutes more sleep. Add two naps in there and you have more than an hour. Every bit of sleep makes a difference.

#5 – Do one thing that will get your heart rate up. Can’t make time for the gym? No problem. Even a little cardio is better than none. Why? Because getting your heart rate up produces more endorphins and endorphins actually produce a euphoric feeling.

Ideas? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Dance around the kitchen while cooking a meal. Walk the dog. Ride a bike. Kick a soccer ball. Jump on the trampoline. Getting your heart rate up regularly is a very healthy thing to do.

I have a client whose family got a dog. My client was worried because she knew it would make more work for her, which it did. Of course it needed to be walked but taking it for walks actually changed her life. Not only did getting out of the house and getting her heartbeat up make her feel good, she also made more friends when she was out with the dog, and we know what more friends can do for your health!

So there you go: 5 Little Ways for Moms to Feel Happier. Give them a try for week. See what a difference it makes. Let me know when it does!

Have I missed anything? Do you have something you do that makes you feel healthier in your daily life?

Are you having trouble implementing healthy habits into your life? Do you feel guilty when you try to set aside time to make yourself feel healthier? Let’s talk.

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 Help Your Kids Thrive, Even if Life Is Chaotic, Jam Packed & Crazy

When our kids are born they are little pieces of perfection. We look at them and promise that they are going to have the perfect life, that we will be the perfect parent, that the life challenges we faced they won’t have to.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if it really turned out that way?

We all have our challenges. Kids especially. It’s always been hard to be a kid, with school and acne and braces and lost best friends and that dreaded gym class. They don’t want us but they need us.

5 Ways to Help Your Kids Thrive

#1 – Take the time to sit with them. Just be in their presence. So many of us spend our time running around, multi tasking. Our child is at the table, doing homework, and we are making phone calls, chopping vegetables, paying bills. Take a few minutes and just sit next to your child. Share the silence. Kris did that one night. Her daughter was reading a book and she joined her on the couch with her own book. After a few minutes her daughter put down her book and told her mom about something that happened at school that day. Kris shared that the interaction meant a lot to both of them and that she got just a little insight into her daughter’s life.

#2 – Listen to them. We like to think that we listen to our kids when they talk to us but many of us are doing other things when they do so. Have you ever found yourself say “uh huh” when your child pauses for reaction and realizing that you have no idea what they just said. When your child talks to you stop what you are doing and really pay attention. Even if it’s a frivolous story you might get some nugget of information for future use.

#3 – Don’t be a helicopter parent. Children are going to make mistakes. They NEED to make mistakes. They NEED to learn how to do things on their own. If you are always hovering, picking up the pieces when they fall, they will never learn how to do it on their own. Julie always tied her daughter’s shoes for her. Always. And then, on her daughter’s first day of school, Julie wasn’t there to tie them for her. Her daughter was crushed and didn’t want to go back to school the next day. Julie taught her daughter how to tie her own shoes that very night and she happily went off to school the next day.

#4 – Be Positive. Yes, we have all had challenging life experiences, experiences that we don’t want our children to have. But, no matter how hard we try, we can’t stop them from happening. When you see your child facing something that you faced and failed at, DON’T let your feelings of failure enter the conversation. Think about what you might have done differently and share that with them instead. Be positive.

#5 – Take care of their health. It is essential that all of us take care of ourselves, that we get enough sleep and exercise and eat a healthy diet. Many kids these days don’t get enough of the first two and too much of the last one (and often not so healthy). When your kids become teenagers it is very difficult to influence their lifestyle choices so it is important to work hard in their early years to instill good habits. Make sure they have a comfy bed and that they play outside after school. Limit their screen time. Have healthy food available but don’t make Oreos totally taboo. Kim’s kids had a steady diet of frozen pizza and French fries that they consumed in front of the TV. Her kids were always bears at bed-time which made the morning routine especially difficult. At my suggestion she tweaked their diets and they ate dinner together at the dinner table and suddenly bedtime was a dream and the mornings were better too.

So there you go, 5 ways to help your kids thrive. Really, none of these tips are reinventing the wheel but they are often overlooked amid the chaos of everyday living. But you can do it. You are doing it already. Just pay attention and tweak things here and there and you will see a huge difference.

Do you have any stories about ways you have helped your children thrive? Questions about challenges that regularly arise? I would love to hear from you…

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!