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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 Ways for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer – Even if the Next 2 Months Loom Dark and Scary

Summertime. The weather is warmer, the grass is growing, the flowers are blooming. It’s a time for everyone to get outside, to smell the fresh air, to enjoy life after the past 7 months of school and cold weather.

And yet, the prospect of summer fills many moms with a sense of dread. What exactly to do with your wonderful, but usually in school, kids all day every day.

I am here to tell you that not only can you survive the summer but you can truly enjoy it!

So here you go: 5 Ways for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer – Even if the Next 2 Months Loom Dark and Scary.

# 1 – Schedule SOME time for your kids to go to camp.

Summertime should include some summer camp. It can be any kind of summer camp – a science camp at the local elementary school, an art camp at the Y, a week away at a camp on a lake in Maine. Whatever is the right kind of camp for your kid.

Modern day children have so much scheduled time that the sudden onslaught of free time when school gets out can be overwhelming. So schedule them some camp.

The key word here is SOME camp. It is essential that kids have down time for proper development. They need to have time to entertain themselves, to be dreamy or adventurous or whatever makes their hearts sing.

So schedule them SOME camp but also schedule them some free time. One of my clients has her kids go to camp every other week in June and July and then leaves much of August free for downtime and family activity.

#2 – Let yourself off the hook.

You have a TON to do. A TON. Every day is packed with chores and errands and work and having the kids under foot all summer makes those things difficult to accomplish.

So let yourself off the hook. Choose some chores and errands that can be let go a bit this summer. Like keeping the house super clean or super involved family dinners. Tidy up when you have some down time and get the kids to help. For dinners use your grill! Grill some meat or fish, make a salad, pop some vegies in the steamer and you are done.

Of course there are some things that can’t be put off. Schedule some time every day, or every other day, to get these things done. Choose a time that you know will work for you: first thing in the morning when everyone is slow to rise, after lunch when people are lazing, after dinner when the kids are running around outside with the neighbors. Pick a time and put it on your calendar and get those things done!

And don’t forget that your kids can HELP with these things. Your child can do the dishes or the laundry or clean their rooms. And the kids can go on errands with you and learn a thing or two about how the world works. Don’t be afraid to get your kids working. It’s good for them.

#3 – Embrace playing.

Remember summertime when you were a kid? Our parents didn’t schedule us at all…we were sent outside in the morning and told to come back for lunch and not a moment earlier. And remember how much fun you had?

So it’s summer! Do some things with your kids that you love to do. Go to the beach, hike in the woods, take out the canoe, go to the park, climb a tree. Get dirty and sweaty. Play!

#4 – Do something that you like to do.

As I have said in earlier blogs it is essential for your mental health that you do something for you as often as you can. Putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own is exhausting and life sucking. Yes, hopefully you will let things go this summer and play with your kids but still you will be very tired at the end of every day.

So schedule something that you love to do. Take a yoga class, volunteer at the local hospital, go on a date with your partner. Whatever it is that takes you out of your life as a mother and reminds you about the woman that you are.

#5 – Eat a lot of ice cream.

Come on! It’s summer. And if there was ever a time to eat ice cream this is it.

Keep a box of popsicles in the freezer, all different flavors. Make a regular trip to the local ice cream spot and try a different flavor each time. Maybe even have a sundae.

There is a television ad about a room full of children who are bouncing off the walls, having a great time. In the next scene there is silence…because everyone is eating ice cream. Ice cream is one of those foods that makes everyone happy. So indulge.

So there you go. 5 Ways for Moms to Enjoy Their Summer.

These tips work for both stay at home and working mothers. Working mothers have the extra challenge of keeping the kids occupied during their work day but by applying some of the principles above you too can enjoy your summer and not let it go by without stopping to smell the roses.

And how that you have read my blog, GO OUTSIDE and start enjoying your summer.

Need more ideas about living the life of your dreams? Contact me now and we can 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 Easy Ways for Moms to Make Time for their Kids When There is None

We all wish that there were more hours in the day. More often than not, every mom feels like she just hasn’t done enough with her day when she finally crawls into bed at night. And usually she feels most guilty about the time that she didn’t spend with her kids. That guilt leaves moms feeling dissatisfied, self-doubting, and unhappy.

I am here to show you how to change that. Yes, life is busy and the days seem short, but it is possible to make more time for your kids every day and go to bed feeling good.

Here are 5 easy ways moms can make time for their kids when there is none

#1 – Make spending time with your kids a priority. Build it into your day. Write it on your list. Make it one of things that you can cross off when completed.

Going to the post office? Bring one of your kids and let them put the mail in the slot. Cooking dinner? Have one of your kids sit at the breakfast bar and help you chop the veggies. Walking the dog? Let one of your kids hold the leash. See how you can do that? And if you give your kids some responsibilities during your activities, you are killing two birds with one stone – time well spent and a life lesson given.

Jackie never included her kids in her errands because she thought they would find them boring and she wouldn’t be able to get them done efficiently. And then one day her 9 year old son came into the kitchen as she made dinner. She asked him if he wanted to cut the mushrooms. His eyes lit up and he said YES. She set him up with the biggest, safest knife she had and he cut the mushrooms. They weren’t as perfect as she might have made them, and it took a bit longer than usual, but the look on her son’s face as he wielded that knife and the chatting they did as he cut them made it all worth while.

#2Recognize the difference between quality and quantity time. So many moms don’t do the things that they want to do because they think they just don’t have enough time. They don’t exercise because they think they need more time than they have, so they just give up the whole thing. It’s the same with spending time with your kids. You don’t need to spend an hour with them and organize some fancy activity. Talk to them in car on the way home from school. Take a few minutes at bed-time to really connect. Whenever you can, ask them about themselves and their experiences. Just make the minutes worthwhile.

#3 – Make a date. I know this goes against what I wrote above, but I believe that you should have regular dates with every important person in your life (including yourself!). Our lives are so chaotic and jam-packed and it’s important to take the time to connect with the people who are important to you. So, make a date with your child. Go to the movies, get some ice cream, take a drive, indulge in a little fast food. Make a date and make it memorable.

One of my clients made an effort to take her kids camping every year. Just her and her kids. No spouse. They eat jiffy pop and marshmallows, go miniature golfing, and stay up late around the campfire. It is a special and memorable time every year, one that they all look forward to. You can do something like this, or smaller, more frequent outings.

#4 – Get involved in their activities. Kids these days are busy, busy, busy, just like their parents. What better way to share time with them than by partaking in one of their activities. You can volunteer to coach their soccer team, be the classroom mom, or be the designated driver to summer camp. Better yet, you can get involved in an activity with them. You could enroll in a class together… martial arts, ballets, arts and crafts, anything that you are both interested in.

A client of mine enrolled in a sewing class with her daughter. They had both always wanted to learn how to sew and this was the perfect opportunity. They got to spend time together, laugh together when they made mistakes and ultimately each made a piece of clothing that will always remind them of their time together. Priceless.

#5 – Get off your phone! I am sure this one bears no explanation but no list about spending time with your kids is complete without it. Basically, time spent on your phone, tablet, or laptop is time that is not being spent with your kids- no matter how good at multitasking you think you are. So, when your kids are around turn it off. If you do, you will find the time to do the suggestions above. And your kids will love you for it.

We moved to Tokyo when my kids were little and when we asked them what they liked best about living there they both said, “mom’s cell phone stayed in Maine.” Telling…

So there you go, 5 ways for moms to make time for their kids when there is none. Your life is chaotic, jam packed and crazy but it’s still important to take the time to connect with your kids. Doing so will improve your relationship with them and will allow you to go to bed at night feeling a little less guilty. Wouldn’t that feel great?

What do you do to spend time with your kids? Creative ideas would be appreciated by all, I am sure!

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!

The 5 Best Things You Can Do for a Friend, Even if You Feel Like You Have Nothing Left to Give

One of the most important pieces of true happiness is intimate connection, good friendships. The care and keeping of a friendship is not always the easiest thing to do, especially with the chaotic life that comes with being a mom, but with a little consciousness and action it can be made easier.

Below you will find a list of the 5 best things you can do for a friend. Do them and not only will you be a good friend but you will find yourself a happier person too.

5 Best Things You Can Do For a Friend

#1 – Support each other and be honest

Friends are great for confiding in. There is nothing better than sitting down with a friend and, over a hot cup of tea, debriefing her about the terrible row you had with your partner the night before. A good friend will listen and commiserate. A good friend will also be honest with you, giving her perspective without judging or berating. And a good friend will take note of what her friend says.

#2 – Make each other laugh

This chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting world that we live in can be a poisonous one. The best antidote is laughter. The physical act of smiling will actually improve your mood and if the smile is followed by laughter the effect is exponentially greater.

#3 – Share experiences

Women’s experiences are markedly similar. It’s almost eerie how alike women’s lives are all over the world.  Being around people with shared experience has twofold benefits. First, it makes you fell less alone because you know other people have experienced what you have experienced. Secondly, you can learn from another’s experience by hearing it’s process and outcome.

#4 – Eat ice cream

Many women feel guilty indulging in any kind of sweet. And standing alone at your kitchen counter shoveling Oreos into your mouth is not a good idea. But the act of sharing something sweet with a friend, one bowl, two spoons, can be a truly bonding and uplifting experience.

#5 – Take walks

Exercise is one of the most important things to do to feel healthy and happy. And walking with a friend is a great, painless way to get exercise. As an added benefit, when you go for a walk you can apply the first 3 principles above and then after the walk you can do the 4th without guilt!

So there you go, the 5 best things you can do for a friend. They aren’t difficult at all; they just take a little bit of time and attention. And the benefits are twofold because you both will be happier because of your efforts. And your happiness will pay itself forward to your children, your partner and your co-workers.

What do you do with your friends that make you happy?

 

If you’re feeling like your friendships are suffering, or you’d like to refocus your energy to create healthier, more joyful relationships, let’s talk. Sign up for your free session with me 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!