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Carol Ebert MSN, RN

Wellness and Coaching for Women in their Third Act

Inspiring Role Model for Women in their Third Act

Content by Carol Ebert

  1. Carol Ebert

    Wellness meets COVID-19

    Many of us have given our power over to healthcare professionals instead of taking back our power to affect our own health. For example Not eating healthy Not exercising, Becoming obese and developing Diabetes Expecting the healthcare system to fix us with more and more meds And, all of this could have been prevented. Now who is at risk for the virus the most? Those with chronic conditions. As the healthcare system becomes overloaded with patients, our access to providers may become limited if not impossible. So what is the solution? We are left to rely on our own self-care practices to do what we can to keep ourselves as healthy as we can be. That’s where wellness comes in Because of my career focus on Wellness, I am now fortunate enough to be free from chronic diseases and meds, but of course, it took work on my part to develop healthy lifestyle practices that have served me well. The good news is that it is never too late to tweak your health habits to help your body and mind become more resilient and boost your immunity – especially when we need all the immune support we can get right now! Here are some tried and true wellness strategies that you can start today to boost your immune system. Sleep It’s essential for good health any time, but even more so when everyone around you is coughing and sneezing. Make sure you get 7-9 hours starting at 9-10 pm. An increase in sleep actually increases the number of your white blood cells. Lack of sleep, less than 6 hours, increases inflammation in your body which can lower your immune system. Food Eat healthy whole foods like leafy greens that are filled with nutrients. Warm foods will help your digestion too. Stay hydrated as well. Drink only water or herbal TEAS rather than sugary sodas. Remember, for every cup of caffeine, you need 2 cups of water. Coconut water is one of my favorite treats when I need a boost. Avoid sugar and processed foods It appears that high blood sugar unleashes destructive molecules that interfere with the body's natural infection-control defenses. Eat foods that are naturally high in antiviral nutrients Such as coconut oil, raw garlic, oregano, ginger, kimchi, and other fermented foods, walnut, pomegranate, green tea, apple cider vinegar, and medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail). The probiotics contained in fermented foods have incredible immune-boosting powers. Fermented kimchi, was found to have significant effects in preventing and fighting the H1N1 influenza. Other examples of fermented foods to try include sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kefir, and kombucha. Bone broth Now you probably heard of this one as it’s all the craze at the moment. It’s easy to find in health food stores and it’s pretty easy to make. You just need some bones and parts of meat that you don’t eat and cook it for several hours. Sauté an onion in olive oil, add some chopped garlic after the onion becomes translucent. Use the whole onion, skin and all. Put in the turkey carcass and any meat and skin you have. Now add a bunch of veggies that you’d like. For example, parsley, turnips, carrots, etc. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Add 1-2 chopped green apples. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 6-8 hours covered. Stir occasionally. Let cool completely. Strain and use immediately or freeze for later. Sneeze into a tissue or your elbow Then wash your hands immediately. Only about 40% of your sneeze makes it into the tissue, the rest ends up on your hands. So wash them whenever using a tissue. If there are no tissues handy, use your elbow to catch your sneeze. If you have a cough or sneeze, then stay home. If you have to go out, wear a mask. Exercise Aerobic exercise pumps up your heart and moves oxygen from your lungs to your blood. This helps increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells and immune response. Meditate daily A daily practice of meditation or even just thinking happy or calming thoughts can boost your immune system. Try 5 minutes of deep breathing, as this will lower cortisol levels, which increase when you feel stressed. STRESS and FEAR have been proven to lower your immune response. Do a media fast Take a break from all the media coverage and do something that brings joy which boosts your immune system. If you want to catch up on the news, my favorite is NPR. It's clear and simple without opinions or hype. It will get you informed without fear. Take immune boosting supplements If you aren’t taking supplements, this might be the best time to start to get the extra support you need right now. Make sure you seek out “pharmaceutical-grade” quality. Vitamins, Antioxidants, Multiminerals Fish Oil (high quality, potent, pure) Vitamin D3 Grape Seed Extract Vitamin C Zinc Beta- Glucan Complex with reishi, shiitake mushrooms, and baker’s yeast extract. Probiotics. Look for Bifidobacterium BB-12® and Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG®†. Both strands are clinically shown to survive the harsh acidic environment of the stomach, providing a full range of benefits such as sustaining healthy immune function. Hopefully, this information will be useful for you and those around you as we face the challenges ahead. Here is a helpful survival guide from Dr. Oz that you can post at home or work. Dr Oz Corona Virus Survival Tips (2).pdf
  2. Even tho I pride myself on being a Wellness Guru, I am realizing that this current reality is getting to me and I need to pull out all those wellness stops I can think of to survive. In the past, I was a runner but after physical back pain became an issue, I transitioned into walking. But is walking really enough to provide any significant health benefits? I will admit that transitioning from running to walking was difficult because I held the belief that you couldn’t get the same benefit from walking that you get from running. Over time, however, I discovered that was a false belief so I embraced walking whole-heartedly as my new mode of exercise. So much so that at one point in my wellness career, I even coordinated the Shoe Crew, a walking club of 1500 employees from many businesses with challenges, big prizes, and data that showed participants lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and felt better. The Coping Benefits of Taking a Walk So now it is time to revisit the importance of walking outside as a way to cope with what is happening in our lives today. Here are some tips. FACT: You have renewed quality time to share with family members Social support may provide a resource for coping that dulls the detrimental impact of stressors on well-being. Those receiving support from their family members may feel a greater sense of self-worth, and this enhanced self-esteem may be a psychological resource, encouraging optimism, positive affect, and better mental health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954612/ FACT: Your pet will appreciate exercising with you Regularly exercising your pet is just as important as exercise for you. Health benefits range widely but include helping hip joints, reducing digestive problems, and keeping your dog and cat at a healthy weight, which decreases the likelihood of developing other health problems. And your pet will have fewer behavioral problems, as will you! https://www.spcaflorida.org/blog/importance-of-regular-exercise-for-your-pets/ FACT: You will appreciate being in nature and all the benefits Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive function. People who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t. https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health FACT: You will have time to clear your mind Spending time outside improves mood and reduces feelings of anxiety. We can focus better in nature, and our improved concentration can help us address feelings of stress and anxiety. Self-esteem can also receive a boost after time spent wandering outdoors. Peace and mental clarity is a big reason why being outside is important. https://askthescientists.com/outdoors/ FACT: You will think more creatively In one Stanford University study, researchers found that walking boosts creative output by 60%. New insights come to us when we “pause and unload” our minds. This process is necessary for creative thinking since otherwise we would be stuck forever in the same preconceptions and patterns of thinking. https://brainworldmagazine.com/stepping-creativity-walking-meditation-creative-brain/ FACT: You will reduce your stress level Walking is relaxing — it releases tension from the muscles of the body through light exercise and distracts the mind from its own busyness. It is a rhythmic activity. Each step and swing of the arms creates a distinct cadence. Rhythm is known to lower brainwave frequency, as studies of the therapeutic value of drumming have confirmed. https://brainworldmagazine.com/stepping-creativity-walking-meditation-creative-brain/ FACT: You can break away from negative news for awhile Walking is a great time-out opportunity that you control. Unfortunately, a lot of what’s going on in the news is out of our hands, and sometimes we must remind ourselves of that so that we can stay sane and work on what is within our power. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-headline-stress-disorder-do-you-have-it-ncna830141 So what do you think? Sounds like a great drug-free healthy prescription that we need right now and is free! Let’s get outside and get moving! Here are some inspiring quotes to post and share with others to encourage walking. If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk. Hippocrates An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. Henry David Thoreau It is solved by walking. Latin phrase Solvitur ambulando All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. Friedrich Nietzsche
  3. Carol Ebert

    Wellness meets COVID-19

    I am someone who is aging well at 60+ but the experts certainly make me feel that I am at more risk than I probably am. But I understand they are speaking in global terms and we each have to respond to this individually.
  4. But I was so embarrassed over how unprofessional I looked on video that I was humiliated into taking that first step to detox my workspace for public viewing. I also realized that when you live or work in a space that feels confining, cluttered, disorganized, overwhelming, dreary - pick a word that describes your work or home environment_____, then it becomes toxic to your body, mind and soul. Consider the effect on your health. Mess Equals Stress In one study, women who saw their homes as cluttered had high levels of the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day, while those who described their abode as a well-organized, restful space had lower levels. Cortisol’s failure to decline normally over the course of the day has “been associated with greater chronic stress, disease progression, and even mortality risk.” Your Mind Wanders It's hard to focus on important tasks when several things compete for your attention. Researchers have found that being around disorganization makes it harder for your brain to focus. How Clutter Can Affect Your Health Unhealthy Eating A study in Psychological Science found that participants in an orderly environment chose healthier snacks than those in a cluttered environment. Consider the effect on your level of productivity. Less Efficient Visual Processing You’ll be less accurate in figuring out how other people are really feeling when you’re seeing them amidst a clutter-filled room. Less Efficient Thinking Mental clutter is one of the prime suspects in the cause of age-related memory losses. If you’re unable to get through the material clogging up your neural networks, you’ll be slower and less efficient in processing information. 5 Reasons to Clear the Clutter Out of Your Life Clutter prevents you from getting promoted. A CareerBuilder Study found that 28% of employers are less likely to promote someone with a messy workspace. Consider the benefit of decluttering on society. You get rid of things that you don’t need Someone who gets your stuff might really want it or could benefit from it. Donating your stuff to the Goodwill for instance provides jobs for people with disabilities and generates income to keep the programs running You get a good feeling about how you can help others and this makes it easier to “let go” of what is bogging you down! So how do you begin the process of decluttering and detoxing? STEP 1 Commit to making the change. You may need to “get ready” to “get ready” to make the change. It is all a process so if you start imagining it in your mind first and see how that feels, you are more apt to commit to doing it in the real world. And don’t forget to schedule it on your calendar! STEP 2 Take baby steps with attainable goals. Start small. The first baby step I took in my office was to turn my small file cabinet that sits within reach a quarter turn and just that small move visually felt like I had more space and the energy of the room seemed to flow better. (Feng Shui anyone?) STEP 3 Prioritize the areas that you want to conquer first. For me it was just trying to block out the view of my closet in the background when I was seen on a video conference call. So I hung up a decorative piece of fabric with tacks and it looked 80% better. Then I moved a book cabinet out of view and moved in a nice narrow chest and put a stained glass shaded lamp on it, turned on the light, and I was done. The background looked great and it took only a total of 60 minutes to complete the process. Amazing transformation is such a short period of time, instead of complaining every day for the past year. STEP 4 Schedule daily/weekly/monthly organizing tasks. Since I accomplished my goal about a month ago, I like it so much I catch myself straightening up my desk area every day so it continues to look neat and orderly. I never would have done that before because my former workspace always generated negative energy and I just didn’t care if it was neat or not. STEP 5 Get your workmates or the whole family on board. At my last position working for a healthcare institution, we would have an annual declutter and purge day and would block out one full day so everyone could clean up their “cubes” as well as all the common areas. It was actually a very fun day and then we would have a potluck and celebrate. Yes – decluttering can be fun and generate positive energy and relationships as well! STEP 6 Don’t be afraid to ask for help or hire help. A good first step here is to find out how much it would cost to hire someone to help you with a decluttering project. It may be less than you think and you could frame it as a “health gift for you”. Or even ask your family or friends to give you this gift for your birthday! STEP 7 Don’t give up — the situation didn’t happen overnight. Face facts. All the decluttering you might do can all return once again. Pay attention to the signs that things are piling up again and act on them right away so you don’t end up back where you started. This is a life-long process and you need to treat it just like building any other habit. Keep practicing until it becomes an automatic response. STEP 8 Reward yourself for your successes. My biggest reward was feeling better about being in my office because it made me smile. Plus when I was on a video conference call with my wellness team, they all agreed that my environment looked much more professional, and they each decided they might need to up their game too. That is enough reward for me. I admit that now that the deed is done, the clutter is removed, the background scenery is simpler and less distracting, I “feel” so much better, just like feeling “cleansed”. So what cleansing are you willing to do to let the “sunshine in” on your environment?
  5. Carol Ebert

    New Area...

    I wonder if you could give us a prompt by suggesting a topic that we can all chime in on. Might help me know how I can contribute. Thanks.
  6. I am now deep into the content and already feeling empowered about how to redesign the way I work, plan, organize, and manage my business and my life. I’m noticing that this is not your average Time Management course, in fact, it doesn’t even look like one. It is all about energy and how we work with it in a positive way to achieve the feeling of timelessness and flow, instead of constantly paddling upstream against the current of daily life. Here is the big Ah Ha for me. There is a cycle for everything and it is tied to everything we do! Let me share just a sampling of how just one group of connected cycles can have a powerful effect on how you can manage your energy. Cycles of Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall The 4 seasons are each Cycles with their own unique qualities. I mentioned in a past blog that during the Winter season by being inside more, in the dark more, in stillness more, that it aligned perfectly with my need to rest, reflect and evaluate my life and work. As it turns out based on the concepts in this program, it aligns perfectly with the content I presented in my blog. I found myself intuitively being content this winter and didn’t push myself so hard because I honored the quiet energy of the season. It was also an opportunity to meditate on what the next steps are for my business. How is your energy affected by the Winter season? Are you in alignment with your Winter energy or challenged by it? If challenged, what can you do differently to realign your energy toward more flow? Moon Cycles There are basically 4 phases of the moon - new moon, waxing moon, full moon and waning moon, each has it’s own energy and can affect us. For example, the New Moon is commonly regarded as the first phase in the lunar month and lines up with the energy of the Winter season. New moon time is traditionally a time of retreat, a time when we are more sensitive, introspective and intuitive. It’s also a good time for research and making decisions. How is your energy affected by the cycles of the New Moon? Are you in alignment with New Moon energy or challenged by it? If challenged, what can you do differently to realign your energy toward more flow? Menstrual Cycles There are 4 phases of the menstrual cycle – follicular, ovulation, luteal and menstruation. During Menstruation, which also correlates with Winter energy and New Moon energy, is a great time to focus on the tasks of purging and organizing your workspace. Rearranging and simplifying, removing unnecessary paperwork and establishing new systems of organization can help you be more productive. How is your energy affected by Menstruation (if you are still having a period)? Are you in alignment with Menstruation energy or challenged by it? If challenged, what can you do differently to realign your energy toward more flow? (no pun intended) Daily 24 Hour Cycles Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It's also known as your sleep/wake cycle. The 24 hour daily cycles are morning, noon, afternoon, 6 PM, evening, midnight, nighttime, and 6 AM. If we correlate with Winter, Lunar and Menstruation, then Midnight is the match for obvious reasons, because we should be asleep at that time. However, when you are sleep-deprived you’ll notice bigger swings of sleepiness and alertness which can affect your energy level. So the takeaway message is to get enough sleep to rest and restore your body and mind, and don’t forget the power of naps. How is your energy affected by the different cycles of the day? Which cycles are you in alignment with and which are you not? If out of alignment, what can you do differently to realign your energy toward more flow? What Do You Think About This Approach So Far? I’m grateful to have this information because the typical Time Management strategies just don’t work for me. This approach targets the underlying and internal processes that when recognized can help us be truly productive and happy on our own terms. Of course, this just scratches the surface so you might want to go deeper into exploring the other cycles not covered. Please share how you manage your day by honoring the energies of your unique self.
  7. Carol Ebert

    New Area...

    Looking forward to finding out more about this group. Thanks for the invite. I'll have my cup of coffee ready when you are.
  8. Carol Ebert

    Just testing ... testing...

    Great promo! Carol
  9. Carol Ebert

    Don't Just Stand There - Take a Leap!

    Leap days are extra days added to the calendar to help synchronize it with Earth’s orbit around the sun and the actual passing of the seasons.1 The Big Leap So why not take advantage of this phenomenon and apply it to your life. Here’s an idea. How about doing a Leap of your own? And maybe start it on that extra day of February 29, 2020. A great first step might be to read the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks which is what inspired me. Let’s discuss what a Big Leap might look like for you. Taking a Big Leap is a great reminder of how important it is to not settle for the status quo and sell yourself short from reaching your full potential. Do you even know what your full potential might be? If you do – fantastic! If you don’t maybe this information will be useful for you. It certainly has lit another fire under me to take what I am doing to the next level. First, consider why Big Leaps are part of the process of your own self-actualization. 4 Zones of Work Is that how you are feeling in your work and your life? Are you excited every day to enter that zone where everything seems to be clicking and you are truly joyful about what you are doing? Of course, it may not always feel that way, but does it feel that way most of the time? If not, let’s explore 4 zones of work and how you relate to each. 1. Zone of Incompetence. This is not your forte’. Many people can do it better than you. For me it is data entry. In my last job, even tho I was hired to create and present wellness programs, part of my job was to keep track of all the data and enter it, and for me it was very tedious, frustrating, stressful and painful. Sitting in front of a computer for hours and hours (yes there was a lot of data to enter) stressed me out to the max and I ended up with carpal tunnel, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, a bad attitude and finally a referral to counseling to learn to live with pain. This might be an extreme example of working in my zone of incompetence, but it happened and it probably happens to a lot of us who are assigned tasks that we have no business doing and doesn’t reflect our true genius. By the way – I did quit that job and all my symptoms went away once I left that stressful environment. Lesson learned! What experiences have you had or are having in the Zone of Incompetence? 2. Zone of Competence. You’re alright, but lots of others cope better. I have the capability of being an excellent worker at whatever task is assigned, am loyal, prompt, reliable and everyone knows they can count on me. If I don’t know how to do something I actively seek out how to do it and learn it when required. It may take me longer than someone else to learn the task, but I’m very persistent and will finally “get it”. I also know my limitations and know when I am out of my league. This brings back to mind when I first entered nursing and felt totally incompetent but always knew how to locate the resources and expertise I needed to get the experiences I needed to grow my level of competence. What examples suggest that you are or were residing in the Zone of Competence? 3. Zone of Excellence. You’re highly skilled and few can hold a candle to you. I’m a very experienced and seasoned Wellness Professional and have created, coordinated, managed, presented, and evaluated wellness programs for many years. I can “pull off’ programs big and small successfully. I am so comfortable with the process that I can get something up and running in no time and make it a success. Just recently, I wanted to get in front of people, agencies and services for “Active Older Adults” because they are my current target for my wellness services, so I created “Boomer Fest” – a resource fair for active older adults. It was a lot of work but because of my experience and competence putting on events, I had 30 vendors and very good attendance which in turn brought together all of the people I wanted to reach and they are now on my mailing list for future reference. What examples demonstrate when you are in your Zone of Excellence? 4. Zone of Genius. You’re literally the best in the world at it. You’ve heard the term “creative genius”? That’s how I see myself, and I might add I’m a bit cocky about it. I know it is a gift and I wish everyone could have it. I have the ability to come up with non-stop creative ideas and when I am around other “creatives” it becomes playtime. Bouncing new ideas off of each other is really fun and stimulating and just leads to more and more fun ideas. This is where time is irrelevant, I’m in the flow, life is good, and I feel at ease with the other creative brains I’m with. I’m with “my people”. I’ve often said I wish I could be paid for my ideas because I have so many and I see them all being extremely successful - if someone would just take them and run with it. What is your Zone of Genius and how and when are you “living it”? Your Goal Of these 4 zones, the goal is to reach your Zone of Genius and spend at least 70% of your time there. This might sound like a tall order, but remember you can never know what you can pull off if you don’t try. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re not going to reach your full potential, no one else is going to do it for you. Even if you only get there part time here or there, Pay attention to when you do get “in the zone” and remember how good it feels, and you will want more of the same. It’s Leap Year - so carve out the time to make your Big Leap!
  10. Carol Ebert

    The Year of the Nurse: What Role Will You Play?

    I just got this from ANA as a correction. It is even better news. I’m Keziah Proctor, the public relations specialist with the American Nurses Association, the organization which represents the interests of the nation‘s 4 million registered nurses. I really enjoyed your article on AllNurses.com about ANA’s observance/ support of “Year of the Nurse”, but I wanted to make a little bit of a correction. In it, you stated that ANA observes “Nurses’ Week” during the month of May, but I wanted to inform you that ANA has recently extended “Nurses’ Week” into “Nurses’ Month” (the whole Month of May). I am including a link to our press release on “Year of the Nurse”, which includes that information and additional details about our organization and upcoming activities can be found on our website: Nursingworld.org. Thank you! All the Best, Keziah Proctor Public Relations Specialist American Nurses Association Keziah.proctor@ana.org Office: 301.628.5197 Cell: 202.446.8182
  11. First, the World Health Organization has declared that 2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The theme for 2020, Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Nursing the World to Health, demonstrates how nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges. It will encourage nurses and the public to celebrate, but also provide information and resources that will help to raise the profile of the profession throughout the year and attract a new generation into the nursing family. 2020 is also Florence Nightingale's Bicentennial – celebrating her 200th birthday on May 12. Having the Year of the Nurse and Midwife coincide with Florence Nightingale’s bicentennial raises the exciting prospect of nurses finally being recognized for all the good they do. And the Nursing Now Nightingale Challenge will produce a new cohort of young nurse leaders who will take the profession forward over the next decade. National Nurses Week is May 6-12, 2020. Supported by the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week celebrates nurses and their role in society. The week also helps to raise awareness about nursing as a possible career choice and also to educate the public about the kind of work nurses are involved in. And, finally, coinciding with that week is: National Student Nurses Day May 8 National School Nurse Day May 8 International Nurses Day May 12 So there is a lot happening for you to get involved in. But we also need to be aware of and address some of the challenges that might be jeopardizing the forward progress of our profession. Challenge #1 There is a NURSING SHORTAGE on the horizon due to these factors: Aging Population As the population ages, the need for health services increases. Aging Work Force One-third of the workforce could be at retirement age in the next 10 to 15 years. Nursing faculty is also experiencing a shortage, and this leads to enrollment limitations, limiting the number of nurses that a nursing school can generate. Nurse Burnout Some nurses graduate and start working and then determine the profession is not what they thought it would be. Others may work a while and experience burnout and leave the profession. Career and Family Often during childbearing years, nurses will cut back or leave the profession altogether Regions Some areas of the country struggle to fulfill the basic needs of the local population as a whole. Growth A higher need is seen in areas that have high retirement populations. Violence in the Healthcare Setting The ever-present threat of emotional or physical abuse adds to an already stressful environment. Emergency department and psychiatric nurses at a higher risk due to their patient population. Challenge #2 Unhealthy Lifestyles There is an abundance of nurses with unhealthy lifestyles. We need to give attention to the personal health of our nurses. After all, if we don’t have healthy nurses, everything else we try to do to increase our nurse population will be of no avail. So let’s look at the state of our health. A study of 2,730 hospital nurses from the American Nurses Association (ANA) Health Risk Appraisal (HRA), surveyed from October 2013 to December 2015, found serious deficits in diet, sleep, and physical activity that may jeopardize nurses’ health and negatively impact the healing strength of the profession. (And from my vantage point as a Wellness Practitioner, this data probably holds and in fact may even be worse in 2020.) For nearly every indicator, the health of America's nurses is worse than that of the average American. Nurses are more likely to be overweight, have higher levels of stress and get less than the recommended hours of sleep. Here are some key findings: (Notice how many are within your control) Nurses are Exhausted 56-57% reported often coming in early and/or staying late and working through their breaks to accomplish their work 33% said they had often been assigned a higher workload than that with which they were comfortable 59% of respondents reported that they worked 10 hours or longer daily 47% slept fewer than 7 hours per day. Nurses are Overweight 56% were overweight/obese with a body mass index > 25 kg/m2. Only 14% of the nurses were eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day (2.5 cups). Just 45% of the respondents were engaged in aerobic activity of at least moderate intensity for 2.5 or more hours per week, while 47% performed muscle-strengthening activities twice a week. Nurses Do Not Prioritize Their Health Over Others 68% put their patients’ health, safety, and wellness before their own. Nurses are Stressed and Burned Out From a study by the Cleveland Clinic of their nurses, 63% suffer from burnout. If it is not addressed nurses can become disengaged and eventually leave the profession. And, severe levels of stress are not only unhealthy but can negatively affect patient care. As you know, if nurses don’t adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors they are at risk for chronic diseases and early mortality. On the other hand, nurses who make healthy lifestyle choices have a spill-over effect and will be more apt to discuss and recommend preventive behaviors such as smoking cessation, more physical activity, and eating a healthier diet to the people under their care. With personal health on top of their mind, they may be better able to prevent workplace injury and avoid errors related to fatigue. So nurses who adopt healthy lifestyles may even provide better patient care. So What Does All This Mean For You? YOU can contribute by taking action on whatever you think would work for you. After all, you are the key to everything that will make The Year of the Nurse a truly important opportunity to showcase what we do and who we are. In my opinion, your best option that could be a win-win for both you and your profession is to take action on adopting a plan to get healthier. You are, after all, being watched by those around you as the expert on health, and if you embrace wellness as a lifestyle choice, you will make an impact on other’s behaviors as well. Don’t overlook the fact that you are a role model for not only your expertise but how well you model the health practices you teach to others to manage and prevent the chronic diseases they experience. And because this is the beginning of a NEW YEAR this is the perfect time to get started. What Are You Waiting For? Please share your lifestyle enhancement ideas to give other nurses ideas to draw from.
  12. Carol Ebert

    The Year of the Nurse: What Role Will You Play?

    Thanks for sharing. Great idea taking control and shifting your job so it better suits you. I know I waited too long to shift in my last job because I thought I could "stick it out". But the stress got to me too. When I left - guess what - the stress went away!
  13. Carol Ebert

    Cultivating Winter Stillness

    I have a chronic condition that has plagued me for about 2 years called Tracheal Stenosis (Idiopathic Subglottic Stenosis). Upon seeing an ENT specialist after experiencing shortness of breath when I tried to make speeches, wheezing, and having difficulty expelling mucus from my lungs, the diagnosis was obtained using a scope into the trachea. I got to see my beautiful insides, but the entry to the trachea had a narrowed opening which was causing my symptoms. And what is it caused by? Who knows. And only white women have this, and not very many I might add. Leave it to me to be a public speaker who now can’t speak publicly! Well, the good news is it can be resolved (temporarily) through a surgical procedure that makes small snips in the opening and then the opening is stretched, and I’m good as new. However, it seems to be a repeat procedure approximately every year. And here I am right now scheduled for surgery (for the 4th time) in the next 3 weeks. Yes I am frustrated because it can’t be cured no matter how healthy I am - and I am Nurse Wellness and have been a role model for wellness for over 40 years. All those wellness strategies I live my life by still couldn’t prevent this. And, so I will survive and do what I need to do to keep on my path as a wellness educator. So how does this tie into STILLNESS? I find that all I can do right now is go into stillness and the fact that it coincides with the Winter Solstice seems to be no accident. I have found that late December through January are cocooning times for my business and for life in the countryside of Minnesota – where we are usually snowbound - which lends itself to being still. Looks like the universe is giving me a reason to be still since I generally have difficulty cultivating that trait. Just to further make that point, a good friend gave me an “Energizer Bunny” stuffed animal for Christmas because that is my M.O. as I am always on the go with teaching. Now let’s go a bit deeper to better understand what surrounds the Winter Solstice. December 21 is the shortest day and longest night of the year. The Winter solstice is a time of quiet energy, where you get the opportunity to look within yourself and focus on what you want and need. It's a time to set goals and intentions for the coming year, to examine and let go of our past, and to make changes within ourselves. The solstice is essentially tied to a personal awakening. What Does The Winter Solstice Mean Spiritually? It's Celebrated In Tons Of Religions And Cultures. Nature remembers what we humans have forgotten every cycle must return to stillness, silence, the dark; every out-breath requires an in-breath; every outer endeavor turns back inward to its origins, its center, and begins again; from death comes new life, and from the darkest night, the new dawn is born. A Winter Solstice Mystery: Beauty In the Belly of the Dark Great words of wisdom. But how can we apply the teachings of the Winter Solstice and capitalize on the stillness of this part of the year? Here are some strategies to consider. Solstice is an opportunity to look within yourself and focus on what you want and need Practice “doing nothing” by meditating, visualizing or just sitting in silence with your eyes closed. Just do this for very short periods of time at first to get used to being still and then extend the time. Focus on what you want to have happen this upcoming year that will be fulfilling and pleasurable. Solstice is a time to set goals and intentions for the coming year Once you decide what you want to have happen, write it down as a goal. By December 31, 2020, I will have accomplished: The steps I need to accomplish this goal are: The dates for accomplishment of each step are: Solstice is a time to examine and let go of our past Write down on paper all the past beliefs that have stood in your way from having all you were meant to have in life. Crumple up the paper into a ball and burn it. Thank the burning ball for all the lessons you have learned from those roadblocks Feel the sense of release as they disappear into ashes Solstice is a time to start making changes within ourselves Commit to one personal change you want to make during the new year Determine how you will monitor your personal progress (Journaling, marking on your calendar daily or weekly, chose the method that works for you) Solstice is essentially tied to a personal awakening and the above steps fit right into what most of us already do as we embark on a new year. We set intentions and goals and just forge ahead. This time, however, consider incorporating the STILLNESS factor into your daily life as a way to monitor your progress and keep yourself on track. And this is the perfect reminder for me as well. Once I am post-op I could jump right back in the fast lane with my voice intact and not slow down until next year when it will predictably slow me down to stillness once more. Or I can take time out for stillness along the way to monitor and appreciate my personal growth in an ongoing way. Now, how about you? How can you incorporate stillness in your day – week – month – year?
  14. Carol Ebert

    Boomer Fest Quest

    I have a “side hustle” wellness business and as I continue to age, the population I want to work with gets older too. So I decided if that is whom I want to reach with my message of staying healthy as you age, then I need to find them. And how do I find them? Invite them to an event! Which I did. I created Boomer Fest – a Resource Fair for Baby Boomers. Drawing on my professional skills of program development and event planning I started from scratch by assembling like-minded professionals looking to reach this population. That was easy because I was already involved in a Networking Group who were trying to reach Boomers as well. And so we started the process of creating the event. Here’s a step-by-step approach of how it unfolded in case you might want to do the same thing with your newly found “free time”. Decide who you want to reach Because I am a Boomer and am keenly aware of the health and social issues we face at this age, and I am aware that not all Boomers are ready for the life of retirement, I wanted to help my peers find the resources they need as they age – that they don’t even know they need to know about. Decide what you want them to learn from the event I struggled with what the retirement lifestyle was all about and followed a trial and error process when I finally “retired”. I was amazed to find that no one seems to prepare retirees for the next phase of life which I call Your Third Act. My mission then for this event was to provide the resources I felt they needed to be aware of and the options available to them for all the dimensions of a wellness lifestyle: social life, work life, spiritual support, physical activity, intellectual stimulation, emotional well-being, travel aspirations, volunteer opportunities, and active senior housing options. Decide who can provide the answers Boomers are looking for Once I decided how well-rounded I wanted the event to be, I started making calls and visits. That’s when the fun begins because someone knows someone else who knows someone else, and pretty soon I had identified 30 vendors for the event. And having them get to know me and me them, got me in touch with the people, groups, agencies and facilities that deal with the Boomer population. Which in turn positions me as an expert who can help them in the future with educational health programs that I have already designed for the Boomer population. So it became a win-win for both of us. Secure a venue for the event A new event center had just opened in the community where I live and I thought how perfect it would be to have Boomer Fest there – not only because it was a perfect venue, but because it was brand new people were curious to see it and that alone might draw them in. Of course there was a fee for the space so I had to come up with the money! Create a budget This is extremely important so you don’t lose money. Our plan was to break even and that is about what happened. Of course I did not pay myself for all my work, and if we do this again that issue will need to be resolved! Revenue = $900 Vendors each paid $50 Non-profits were not charged Expense = $875 Room rental - $750 Marketing Consultant - $125 Delegate tasks This is a key issue not to be overlooked. I actually took on too much myself, but at least I delegated someone to arrange for music thru the PA and someone to sit at the registration table to check people in and out. Arrange for volunteers I did not think of this until the last minute when I didn’t have anyone to manage the registration table. Fortunately someone stepped in at the last minute, so I lucked out. I did discover later that there are a lot of groups including college students who are very willing to help out as long as they have prior notice. Provide incentives to attend I asked each vendor to provide a door prize at their booth, and we also had a grand prize drawing for a one night stay at the new adjoining hotel in a king room. In order to participate in that drawing I had each participant find the answers to questions from each vendor so I was assured that all vendors would have people stop and talk to them. The sheet of completed answers was then dropped in a box and we drew the winner from those sheets. We had 56 people complete the sheets and the winner was the perfect person. She had brought along two elderly friends who sat at a table while she went thru the exhibits. She was being very kind to them by taking them out for the day and I felt she was the perfect person to be rewarded for that kind gesture. The Universe works in amazing ways! Promote the event All vendors were responsible for promoting to their audiences thru newsletters, emails, social media, etc. We posted flyers around town and made up free tickets to give away. I contacted the local TV station who sent out a reporter and we were on the news at 6 and 10 that day. If we do this again I would contact the media at the beginning of the planning so they would partner with us and provide free promotion. Keep statistics 56 people attended, even tho I would love to have had 200. But everyone felt it was a good response since it was the first time we have done this and we only had 8 weeks to pull it off! Followup evaluations from vendors and participants I am still compiling evaluations from the vendors and most want this to happen again. As participants left the event and passed by the volunteer at the registration table, most mentioned that they loved the event and would like to see it happen again next year. Debrief with planning committee and plan for next year Our planning committee is very happy with the results and are on board to do this again. Our recommendations are: Start planning sooner – at least 6 months before the event Create a more extensive budget Include a fee for the coordinator (that would be me!) Secure sponsors to generate more revenue Charge non-profits $25 each Continue to charge vendors $50 each Provide refreshments because food is always a draw – with few dollars to work with, we did get apples donated and water was free. Consider having entertainment, round-table discussions, break-out sessions So why did I share this with you? Because it’s never too late to take on a new challenge that has meaning and can give back to others who might need your talents and time. It doesn’t have to be this involved of course. It can be just what you want it to be. And you don’t have to ask permission from a boss! Feel free to share new challenges you have embarked on to give your life more meaning in retirement.
  15. Carol Ebert

    Got 3rd Act Issues On Your Mind?

    Download allnurses Magazine Once you enter your Third Act all kinds of different thoughts start entering your consciousness. Here are some of my concerns I never had to consider before. I’m sure you have even more. Will I have enough money to live comfortably? Not everyone has retirement savings and social security is not enough to live the lifestyle you want. I can attest to that as I am on social security plus have no retirement savings so it is clear that you will need to prepare yourself with other revenue streams you might not have thought of before. I’m so passionate about wellness that I’m always creating new initiatives that can bring in more money (like the new book I wrote Too Busy for YOU? which targets busy professional women based on what I know about that lifestyle) What creative ideas do you have for generating more income? Will I eventually be disabled and dependent? I have been extra healthy since most of my career has been wellness focused and I have practiced what I preach. It has certainly paid off as I feel years younger than many my age, but that doesn’t mean some things are starting to deteriorate. For me it is little skin lesions that keep popping up and needing to be biopsied and excised. Or the cartilage in my knee needed to be trimmed due to wear and tear from all the exercise I do. So no matter how healthy you might think you are, there are things that may occur that could impact your quality of life. What are your thoughts about what you would do if you became disabled as you get older? What if my partner/spouse is gone and I’m all alone? It’s a fact that women will live longer than men so odds are you will be living alone at some point. The average American man will live to age 76, according to the latest CDC figures, while the average woman in America will live to age 81. What ideas do you have for dealing with the issue of being alone? What will I do with my time if I’m not going to work every day? Imagine having all the time in the world with no demands on your time. You’ve probably been dreaming about that for a long time but once you retire it will be a reality. Based on my experience with other friends who are retired, they seem busier than ever and I often hear this: “I can’t believe how busy I am, even more now than when I was working”. Additionally I hear some of my nurse friends who do enjoy the freedom for a short while are then itching to do some work again. What would fulfill you when you have plenty of time for YOU? What kind of living arrangement should I consider as I age? Remember the TV Show Golden Girls where 3 women shared a home together to share expenses and support of each other? That idea is starting to take hold. Online home-sharing websites, workshops and meetings for prospective housemates are booming. I’ve even been giving it some thought as an option. What examples of living arrangements have you considered as you get older? When should I consider down-sizing? It’s never too soon to start clearing out all the stuff we accumulate. This issue has really been on my mind because it takes a lot of time and energy to live with and deal with all the possessions we manage on a day to day basis. And why do we have all this stuff? In my case I have a large county property with several out buildings that are full since we live on a hobby farm. Every day I think “how long can I keep up with all this?” And wouldn’t life be simpler if I had less “stuff” to deal with. What surrounds your life that you know you could live without and how would it make you feel if you had less to deal with? Should I have a pet, and who will care for it if I die? This one is big for me because I have always had multiple pets and I know how important they are to my wellbeing. After I lost my last 2 dogs within one week I thought maybe I’m too old to have a pet, and what if I die and leave it behind. Who would care for it? So what did I do? I got a puppy! But the caveat was it is a breeding dog from another nurse who breeds dogs and needed this little stud to be farmed out to a great family to be raised (that’s me) and just go back to her for breeding purposes. Before I accepted that offer I said to her “What if I die?” She said “I’ll take him back”. I got the answer I wanted and now everyone is happy – especially me! What are your thoughts about having a pet as you get older and what is your strategy? The bottom line for all these concerns, and I suspect you may have other concerns as well, is to not postpone thinking about them but face them head-on and create an exit plan. I often wish my parents had done that for me instead of leaving us in a state of confusion about where everything was that needed to be tended to. And then having to make decisions about what to do with everything that they left behind. It is a daunting task but for us who might be more aware we can take charge and create a plan. It’s easy to remain in denial about the fact that we will die at some point so the more responsible approach is to get your act together and make those tough decisions while you can. I know planning isn’t everyone’s “thing” and I’m not great at it either, but when I do put a plan together it actually reduces my stress and gives me the feeling of being back in control. And your family will love you for it! Inspired by: Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men? House Sharing for Boomer Women Who Don't Want to Live Alone Benefits of Elderly Owning Pets The Upside of Downsizing What ideas do you have for making life in your Third Act as stress free as possible?
  16. Carol Ebert

    How to Remain Relevant as You Age

    1. Age related decline starts earlier than you think If you have been climbing the professional ladder and are deeply invested in being high up, be aware that there is a fall coming. For most people in most fields decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks and nursing is not exempt. Scholars at Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research studied a wide variety of jobs and found considerable susceptibility to age-related decline in fields ranging from policing to nursing. It showed up in the professions that required mental processing speed and significant analytic capabilities which is what nursing is all about. The potential reason for age related decline lies in the work of the British psychologist Raymond Cattell, who in the early 1940s introduced the concepts of fluid and crystallized intelligence. 2. Prepare for a midway course correction Some nursing strengths peak early and then diminish Fluid intelligence is the ability to reason, analyze, and solve novel problems which nurses do every day. This ability to innovate is highest early in adulthood and diminishes starting in your 30s and 40s. This is why tech entrepreneurs, for instance, do so well so early, and why older people have a much harder time innovating. Some nursing strengths peak later and continue to grow Crystallized intelligence, in contrast, is the ability to use knowledge gained in the past. It’s all the wisdom you have accumulated. Because crystallized intelligence relies on an accumulating knowledge over time, it tends to increase through your 40s, and does not diminish until very late in life. The best explainers of complicated ideas—like the best teachers—tend to be in their mid-60s or older, some of them well into their 80s. This builds a case for us as we age to consider dedicating ourselves to sharing knowledge in some meaningful way. I’ve always thought nurses were great teachers and as you age you are even more so! This is so relevant for me as a member of the Third Act because I did transition out of clinical nursing in my 30’s where I relied on fluid intelligence and moved into health education. As I look back, I don’t think I could have continued the clinical side of nursing long term, but when I look at myself now as a health educator I feel I can continue teaching others indefinitely. I am fully aware that my wisdom from all my experiences (crystallized intelligence) is in full bloom and flourishing. In addition, I have always believed that nurses who remain in the clinical arena who are getting older would make great mentors and coaches for younger nurses beginning their careers. This idea would not only retain older nurses from leaving too soon because the work is too physically demanding while also supporting the younger nurses who might get discouraged and leave nursing too soon before they even got started. 3. Prepare to walk away Based on Hindu philosophy, Ashrama is a stage in life whose name comes from two Sanskrit words meaning “retiring” and “into the forest.” This is the stage, usually starting around age 50, where we purposefully focus less on professional ambition, and become more and more devoted to spirituality, service, and wisdom. This doesn’t mean that you need to stop working when you turn 50—something few people can afford to do—only that your life goals should adjust. The wisdom of Hindu philosophy—and indeed the wisdom of many philosophical traditions—suggests that you should be prepared to walk away from your professional rewards before you feel ready. Even if you’re at the height of your professional prestige, you probably need to scale back your career ambitions in order to scale up your metaphysical ones. Accepting the natural cadence of our abilities sets up the possibility of shifting our attention in our Third Act to higher spiritual and life priorities. This is where I am now and definitely feel the pull to give back, be of service, utilize my gifts and talents to help improve the health of as many people as I can. I hope to continue this quest for as long as I am able and do see this as a worthy spiritual practice. So the bottom line is to BE AWARE and PREPARE to remain relevant in your career and beyond in Your Third Act. It’s all good! Inspired by: Your professional decline is coming (much) sooner than you think (American Enterprise Institute) Early retirement might be in your future (CNBC) Does Age-Related Decline in Ability Correspond with Retirement Age? (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College) What stage are you in and what lessons have you learned?
  17. Carol Ebert

    How to Remain Relevant as You Age

    When I declared that I was entering my Third Act and I couldn't wait to recreate myself and continue making a difference on my terms, people changed their attitude about me and aging. They were even a bit jealous. Just a thought on how to turn a negative situation into a positive.
  18. Carol Ebert

    How to Remain Relevant as You Age

    Great insights and ideas. Thanks for sharing.
  19. Carol Ebert

    How to Remain Relevant as You Age

    Wouldn't it be great if we were honest about how our abilities evolve as we age and wouldn't it be great if institutions prepared to accommodate instead of discriminate. What a great recruitment tool that would be for nurses of all ages.
  20. Carol Ebert

    How to Remain Relevant as You Age

    My experience echos what your thoughts are exactly. Definitely felt the "age discrimination" thing as I was on my way out the door. Such a waste of all our talents and wisdom.
  21. Carol Ebert

    How to Remain Relevant as You Age

    We have so much to give in our third act. As they say "Do What You Love" and you will be giving back from your truest self.
  22. Carol Ebert

    Is It Possible to Burnout in Retirement?

    And as I check in with others my age, I find several different paths that people take with their newly found free time. Take care of grandkids Travel Start hobbies Start a new business Go back to school for a new career Relax and hang out with friends Your path might be different because there really is not one path to take since the freedom you now have allows you to explore whatever you want. My path continues to be wellness because that is what I have always loved to do in my career and my passion has not stopped. What is different is that there is not a boss telling me what to do so I am free to do what I choose. And that is the reason I am writing about Burnout During Retirement. Can that be possible? I thought burnout was for those left behind who are over-worked, stressed-out, worn-down, exhausted and often depressed. As it turns out, when you aren’t answering to a schedule and the directives of an organization, you are still at risk for burnout. In my case, I blame it on my entrepreneurial nature which always directs me to seek more to explore, learn and do. And the result is that I find myself experiencing all the same symptoms of burnout that caused me to leave my last job in the first place. Here are some classic signs that employers report from their employees: Chronic physical and emotional exhaustion Sense of cynicism – everyone is bugging you, you don’t feel empathy for others Sense of ineffectiveness – you can’t see a path for yourself Lack of downtime – always “on” Lack of enthusiasm – can’t summon energy for what you used to be excited about Physical problems – headaches, stomach ache, bouts of cold and flu – especially if you don’t normally get sick Overreacting to requests I’m sure you are familiar with these or have even experienced some of these symptoms yourself. But if you are in your third act and happen to be an entrepreneur like me, you are still subject to this happening to you. I know that for a fact because I find myself overworking even more than I did as an employee because there is no schedule or corporate directive to tell me to stop and go home. I’m already home! So if you are entering the retirement zone, this is a cautionary tale – especially if you are an entrepreneur. But it is not hopeless. First step is to be aware that you might still burn yourself out if you have that busy nature as I do. So here are some excellent strategies to prevent this from happening. Tackle what frustrates you the most What stresses you out and leads to that headache? Pick it apart and see what you can change and what you can’t. Make the changes that you can and accept the changes you can’t. Surround yourself with inspiration Start and end your day with gratitude. Create a pleasant environment to work and play in. Listen, watch or participate in inspirational offerings Heed red flags Pay attention to the signs of burnout. Catch frustration early before your body starts to give you a symptom. (mine is a headache) Network with others your age who are entrepreneurs There is strength and support in numbers Find out what strategies they use to avoid burnout Do switch off Power down all your electronics before 8 pm to force downtime for yourself Create relaxing evenings before bed Get enough sleep We still need 7-8 hours/night Your body needs time to repair, restore, relax and during sleep is when that happens Talk things through Find someone you can talk to – friend, coach, therapist Find entrepreneur groups with your same interests who may be experiencing the same thing Take a break You may need to force this upon yourself because it is against our nature Keep a schedule and write it on your calendar Spend time with yourself Schedule time when you can purposefully do nothing Practice by working your way up from 5 minutes to finally about 30+ minutes. This inspired me. Hopefully, these strategies will be useful and provide you with a roadmap for creating a Third Act Retirement Plan that gives you the peace and wellness you desire while still honoring your busy nature. Your thoughts?
  23. Carol Ebert

    Becoming "Well Aware" of Your Retirement

    AWARENESS is the first step before you can take any kind of action. If you don't know what you need, you won't know what action to take. There are always signs that indicate you are ready for change but sometimes we miss them, disregard them, misinterpret them or blame others for them. Here's an example. In my last job as an employee, I had a great reign for 18 years as a wellness specialist for a major medical center. It was a dream job because my boss, who was a visionary, believed in empowering his employees to determine what needed to get done and then left us alone to do it the best we could. For me that was a gift, because I am very creative and work best when I can control my destiny and am not micro-managed. Our department did great things during his tenure and we were all very productive, had a lot of fun and loved coming to work every day. But then things changed. A corporate merger occurred, my boss moved on, our team was split up and we were all sent to other departments to work. I was miserable. But I told myself I could stick it out for the next 5 years until I could take an early retirement. Besides I needed the paycheck and benefits! Well that idea lasted for about 2 years when I started to succumb to stress-related disorders that required multiple referrals to physicians, occupational therapy, and finally to a counselor where I was told to learn to live with pain. Finally, the light bulb went off and I realized I had become someone whom I am not. I am not a person who is in pain, has no joy in my work, has a negative attitude, has lost her creativity and hates to go to work every day. Instead, I am a happy, positive, creative person who loves creating exciting and meaningful programs that help people lead better lives. So what happened to the real me? (Does this ring true for you?) Apparently I had to be in so much pain that I finally got it. AWARENESS occurred and I knew I had to change. Here's a helpful quote from Abraham-Hicks that says it all. Sometimes your Source will lead you to an awareness of a problem because it is part of the path to the solution. I now recognized the path I was on was not only wrong for me, but my health had taken a toll as well. And Nurse Wellness (AKA - ME!) was always a health role model so I knew I had lost myself somewhere along the way. Time to take charge and do what I needed to do to get back to being ME! So I took some vacation time, had a heart-to-heart talk with myself (and my financial advisor), discussed my options with the HR Department and learned I could take an early retirement immediately. Talk about having a new lease on life! With that weight lifted, I was able to create my exit strategy and start taking steps to move out of that job and into my next adventure as a wellness business owner. Note - within 6 months of leaving that nightmare, all my stress-related symptoms disappeared. A big message that we are able to heal ourselves once we become AWARE of what our symptoms are telling us. So what about you? Does my experience resonate with your life experience? What is your story? How did you become aware of your need to change? What steps did you take? Would love to have you share so we all can learn from each other.
  24. Carol Ebert

    Becoming "Well Aware" of Your Retirement

    In my past when I was lost I worked with a Nurse Coach who helped me get back on track. Just a thought.
  25. Carol Ebert

    Go Write Your Book!

    And so I needed to pry mine out by starting a writing journey. I never thought I could write a book, and it never was on my radar, but once I started blogging for allnurses.com I realized I had compiled a lot of content that was just going to sit in a file somewhere, never to be seen again. And then the wise words of my late father popped into my brain: “If you are going to do something, make sure you have 3 good reasons for doing it”. OK Dad! Here are my reasons for blogging 1. Write monthly blogs to help nurses embrace wellness 2. Use blog content to create powerpoint presentations and deliver to audiences 3. Re-purpose the blogs into a book And here I am today publishing my very first book called Too Busy for YOU? How to Prioritize Yourself for a Balanced, Mindful and Happy Life. What I didn’t realize by completing this process, I would achieve some cool benefits! Here are my TOP 10 REASONS why this was important for me to do: 1. It’s a Challenge I love a challenge, especially with something out of my league. Once you have a lot of years and experiences under your belt, you know you can do more than you ever thought you could. For me, I’ve met many challenges in my career that I thought I couldn’t overcome and succeeded at most. So why not give writing a book a try. 2. Improved My Self Esteem Once I reached retirement age I could feel my “usefulness” slipping and didn’t feel valued as much. I could continue that downward slump or get busy on my book. There is a saying in some circles: “When I got busy, I got better”. And my self-esteem improved greatly, especially when I finished the book and sent it off to Amazon to be published. 3. Helped Me Reinvent Myself As an Author, I feel re-programmed with a new direction and new energy. I have a new identity and have noticed that people respond more positively to me as if I have more status. Suddenly I don’t feel as old as I felt before I had a book to promote. 4. Generates Income I now have another avenue to make money from book sales. To that end, I have new energy to approach book stores for book signings, other wellness coaches, wellness clients, nursing instructors, health education professors, wellness coordinators, businesses, and even women’s book clubs. 5. Gets Speaking Engagements One of my favorite things to do is speak on wellness to audiences and I have heard that the best way to get these bookings is to author a book. I am now a more marketable public speaker because of this. 6. Serves Audiences in a New Way Sometimes you just can’t reach all the people you want to reach personally, so this book gives me another vehicle for me to reach out globally with my wellness message. 7. Shares my Wisdom After 40+ years in the wellness industry, I have a lot to share about how to get healthy and stay healthy and I know what works and doesn’t work. Having a book that synthesizes it all down to a “self-coaching” guide that can help others improve their lives on their own terms gives me great satisfaction. And it feels like I am leaving a legacy that will keep on giving. 8. Keeps Me Relevant If I am going to continue with my quest to spread wellness, then a self-care book is a relevant method for doing that and keeps me in the game. Wellness is the big buzz word today and my book is all wellness all the time. 9. Addresses Major Health Concerns Because we are drowning in epidemics of chronic disease, many proven wellness tools that are outlined in my book are what we need more than ever when the medical model is limited in how it deals with these challenges. 10. Reaches a Wider Audience Amazon is a global shopping site and my book, which was self-published through Amazon will be available for the world to see. (Yes you can publish your book thru their system for free) You never know who might read it and how that could influence an audience I never would have been able to reach. I have always been a global thinker but I never thought that I could actually get my message out there in a big way. Look out world, here I come! So is there a book inside of you wanting to come out? I think all nurses have so much to share it would be a shame to keep it all inside. What steps are you willing to take to begin the process of authoring a book? Please share.
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