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Carol Ebert

Carol Ebert MSN, RN

Certified Wellness Practitioner
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Content by Carol Ebert

  1. 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?
  2. Carol Ebert

    Aging or Ageless: What path are you on?

    Thanks for sharing the video. And I agree with the mirror image. Whoever that is - is not who I feel like inside. Interesting isn't it? Guess we need to stop looking in the mirror and get on with our lives.
  3. Carol Ebert

    Aging or Ageless: What path are you on?

    Change your perception of YOU If you think you are old, you will be old before your time. Don’t act your age. Stop feeling guilty when you are drawn in the clothing section of a store when teens hang out. Their clothes are more exciting and fun than the ones you “think” you should wear. If dressing youthful makes you feel youthful, then your mind thinks you are younger too. Watch what you say Red flag language is: I’m having a senior moment I’m too old for that I can’t remember anything Replace your negative language about aging with positive words about how cool it is to be older and wiser. Look for positive role models My current favorites are Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin - both in their 80’s and still rocking! And what about RBG and Nancy Pelosi. There are more and more public figures who are showing us that older is even better. Activate personal healing practices Ask your body what it needs to flourish Reduce stress by establishing a habit of rest and restoration Create balance between activity and rest Embrace a daily nap Exercise daily but protect your body from over-doing it. Nourish your body with food it desires Relax with yoga, mindful practices, music, breathing, warm baths Grieve and release Be aware of past hurts, grudges, resentments that drag you down Create a ritual for release like writing it all down and then burning the paper Practice shifting your thoughts to something pleasant when old negative thoughts pop into your head Shout out loud – “get out of my head, I am done with you!” Forgive old resentments by praying for them briefly every day for 10 days and then feel the release Nurture relationships Nurture yourself first – how would you treat yourself if you were the love of your life? Protect your priceless energy by saying NO to toxic relationships, even family members Have fun with your friends Have fun with your partner Protect your space by setting healthy boundaries Say NO to rescuing others who need to rescue themselves Eat with Pleasure Treat your meal like an event Arrange to eat with people you enjoy who are not in a hurry Get excited about knowing that your body craves vegetables more than anything! Start with a ritual of appreciation for this wonderful nourishment for your body Look, listen and savor the food Slow the pace of chewing to slow the pace of the meal Pay attention to how your body feels Stop eating when you feel full Thank the food for nourishing your body Move with Joy Select movements that give you pleasure, stretch your muscles, get your energy flowing and make you feel alive If you like to dance but not go to dance classes or clubs, choose Jazzercise If you walk, change the pace and location If you want freedom of movement try NIA If you like being home put on music and make cleaning, dusting, gardening into dance moves If you sit all day set a timer every hour and get up to do stretches, hip swivels, yoga, tai chi Practice balancing on one foot at a time when on the phone, cooking dinner, watching TV Be Beautiful Look in the mirror every day and say “Hello gorgeous – you look awesome”. Do a morning beauty ritual for your face and enjoy the process, feel, fragrance and transformation Treat yourself to a professional beauty treatment in a salon and savor the process and feeling Wear only clothes that make you feel great even if they are “way out” Make an entrance into a room with head held high as if you are a movie star on the red carpet Connect with your spirituality Journal daily in peace and quiet and see what is revealed Remember to be who you really are and not what others think you should be Ground yourself by connecting with nature regularly Practice mindful meditation and see what comes up Connect with a spiritual community Create meaningful daily affirmations Personalize your environment Rearrange your living space to reflect good feelings and rejuvenation Purge and declutter one drawer at a time Create a small meditation alter or zone Locate a perfect place outdoors to replenish yourself Schedule daily time to be with yourself Affirm your true ageless self I will bring more pleasure into my life I will leave worry and fear behind I will be more joyful I will honor my spirituality I will live in the moment in alignment with nature I will have faith that what is meant for me will always come I will surround myself with supportive people Resource: Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Well-Being by Christiane Northrup, MD Please share how you are embracing “Coming of Age” and your strategies for living “Agelessly”.
  4. Carol Ebert

    Your Third Act

    Isn’t there a better way to frame this time of our life? Well, the good news is that there is! A good friend turned me on to Jane Fonda’s TED Talk called “Life’s Third Act” and I was transformed! That is the language I was looking for. I’m in my Third Act – the last 3 decades of life - and I get to write my own book about what that means for me. As Jane Fonda says: this is actually a developmental stage of life with its own significance, as different from midlife as adolescence is from childhood. And we should all be asking: How do we use this time? How do we live it successfully? What is the appropriate new metaphor for aging? We have to get over the fact that older ages are not all about pathology. Many of us (me too) are not riddled with disease, but are healthy, vibrant, energetic, filled with potential and ready for more. Fonda also says: It turns out, most people over 50 feel better, are less stressed, less hostile, less anxious. We tend to see commonalities more than differences. Some of the studies even say we're happier. So this is all good news for those of us who struggle against a culture that tends to discard our value and not appreciate what we can offer. We - the over 60 generation who were such idealistic free thinkers in our youth are not going to go quietly into the good night. We are creating a new paradigm for aging and it focuses on being - and feeling - ageless. Dr. Christiane Northrup, OBGYN, women’s health pioneer and best selling author even wrote the book Goddesses Never Age referring to older women as Ageless Goddesses. I prefer thinking of myself that way as well because the number of my age does not correlate with how I perceive myself. In my mind I am still 35 which is about half of my chronological age. Jean Huston, PhD, scholar, philosopher and researcher in Human Capacities speaking to Oprah said “It started to get really good at 60. Your heartfulness increases, you’re always looking for the deeper aspect of anything, and you try to be of use.” Carol Osborne, author of The Spirituality of Age: A Seeker’s Guide to Growing Older says coming of age is the opportunity to not only grow older, but to grow whole. It is a life stage of value and purpose of its own. Sabrina Chaw, CEO of A Feminine Feast, says “as women coming into our own, we are discovering our own true path to light up our lives.” Gail Sheehy best-selling author of New Passages: Mapping Your Life Across time presents startling facts: A woman who reaches age 50 today – and remains free of cancer and heart disease – can expect to see her ninety-second birthday. To plot our route across these vast new stretches of Second Adulthood, we need a new map of adult life. From my perspective I feel like I’m just getting started. All those years of working and experiencing things was like an internship and now I am ready to go out on my own and prove to myself I can do anything I set my mind on. I am free from the shackles of working for a boss, in control of my time and destiny, healthier and more physically active than most at my age and looking forward to what I can create next. What about you? Is aging on your mind? What are your thoughts about your third act of life? Will you continue working in nursing? What dream do you have that you want to pursue beyond your nursing career? All these questions are valid and important for you to process, because your next 30 years might be the best and most rewarding of all. Please share your thoughts.
  5. Carol Ebert

    Your Third Act

    What a great role model your father must have been and what a great way to start every new day.
  6. Carol Ebert

    Aging or Ageless: What path are you on?

    Actually your body craves the "nutrition" from vegetables. I'm finding them much more palatable when seasoned properly instead of just salt and pepper. Plus exploring vegetables I've never tried before can be interesting and tasty too. I can send you a recipe for a tasty vegetable kabob if you want.
  7. Let’s focus on some personal results from being too busy and challenge how it affects your lifestyle: YOU aren’t present. When have you been so swept away in a busy situation that you waived off an overture from your spouse, child, friend because you didn’t have time for them? YOU miss out on opportunities. When has an opportunity arisen that you really wanted to pursue but were too busy to take the time to explore it? YOU forget to love and care for yourself. When is the last time you did something nice for yourself, like a massage, spa day, weekend getaway? YOU don’t make time for doing nothing. How often do you unplug, detach and just “be” without doing? YOU don’t have time to think. When do you take the time to ponder and process issues in your life and work? YOU neglect to set boundaries. What is the effect on your day when you don’t set boundaries? YOU aren’t working to your potential. What goal do you wish to achieve that you are too busy to pursue? YOU become emotionally unavailable. What relationships are in jeopardy because you are too busy to nurture them? YOU forget to dream. How would your life be different if you took the time to imagine a perfect life for you? YOU forget your “why”. How often do you take the time to contemplate the reason you are here on this planet? Does this exercise give you some insights about the effect of busy-ness on the quality of your life? Or does it cause even more stress than you already have? Not to worry. I have solutions. But before I share, YOU need to make a decision about whether you are willing to make some changes in your life and take back the time and energy you lack right now. Top 10 solutions for reducing busy-ness and improving your health: 1. Examine your lifestyle Write down everything you do in a day Label what is important and what is not Stop doing what is not important 2. Follow your intuition Sit quietly for 10 minutes with eyes closed Imagine that your intuition is speaking to you about your busy-ness. What is it saying? Check in with your intuition whenever you feel overwhelmed and ask for answers 3. Say no Before you say yes - ask yourself: Do I have time for this? Do I want to do this? Does it fit with my values? 4. Network for support Talk with someone who seems to have their life in control Ask them what techniques they use to prevent being too busy Find an accountability partner while you begin making changes 5. Prioritize your health Determine how important your health is to you Schedule “health improvement time” on your calendar daily Create a reward system for yourself as a motivator 6. Calm your mind Focus on taking slow deep breaths whenever you feel tense Count to 10 if you feel you might blow up at someone Schedule time daily for meditation, calming music, relaxation strategies 7. Refresh your body Get up and move around every hour; or sit down every hour if you are always on your feet Do stretching exercises every hour Take breaks by walking outside or up and down stairs 8. Use food for brain power Create your lunch and snacks at home so you don’t waste time at work finding food Eat whole real food, low glycemic, not processed Drink a lot of water, half your weight in ounces 9. Create a workable schedule Honor a start and end time to your day and stick with it Avoid taking work home. If you must, determine if it’s necessary or can wait until the next day. Create an annual calendar that locks in self-care days off and vacations 10. Get enough sleep Pull the plug on technology after 8pm Spend quiet time to unwind before going to bed Set a sleep schedule of 7-8 hours Hopefully, these tips will be useful for you in your quest to reduce the busy-ness in your life and restore well-being. Feel free to share how you manage your busy lifestyle so we can all learn from each other. For a more in-depth look at this issue, I have a new book being released soon – Too Busy for YOU – How to Prioritize Yourself for a Balanced, Mindful and Happy Life. Let me know if you want to be notified when it is available. Resource: 21 Reasons Why You Should Not be Proud of Being Busy
  8. Having just watched the Webinar How the Brain Blocks Weight Loss by Susan Pierce Thompson, PhD and author of Bright line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin and Free, it is clear to me now that all the diets in the world are not going to help our quest to regain our health when we have eaten our way into disease. In fact, I know you know this - DIETS DON'T WORK! And so the rise in obesity continues.Here are some startling facts to consider gleaned from a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Obesity is a global pandemic - not just in the U.S. 700,000 million people are overweight 108,000 million children are overweight Since 1980, obesity has doubled in 73 countries around the world So what is the real cause of obesity that we are not addressing? It's called food addiction. When we eat highly processed foods that are laden with sugar it affects the addiction center of the brain and causes the brain to release feel good hormones. Food Addiction Research Education >> How does food addiction affect the brain? And that makes you want more of what you just ate. And since about 75% of all processed foods have sugar in them, and we over-consume processed foods most of the time, we become addicted to those foods and to the good feelings we derive from our brains when we eat them.So what do the diets tell us to do? Just say NO to those foods. Easier said than done. This is how your brain blocks weight loss when you try to use WILLPOWER. Willpower (or self-control) is a measurable brain function located in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. Glucose is our body's fuel for energy and the brain requires it for thinking, learning and memory. When you exert your willpower to follow a diet of no sugar and processed foods, this action uses a considerable amount of glucose, leaving your brain in a state of alert trying to get back to normal blood sugar levels.This drop in blood sugar will normally leave you feeling cranky, moody and more prone to driving to the local bakery to get a sugar fix. The Psychology of Willpower: Training the Brain for Better Decisions You have over-taxed the willpower center of your brain, drained it of the glucose it needs to function properly, leaving you unable to do the following: Resist the temptation to eat more junk foods Make sensible decisions about eating healthy So all the willpower in the world is not going to help you lose weight. So what is a body to do? Here are some tips to rewire your thinking. Step 1: Create a habit of eating healthy foods so it becomes automatic and without thought Stop letting your prefrontal cortex make a decision when your low blood sugar is causing cravings. Switch your food focus to the basal ganglia where habits are formed. A Critical Review of Habit Learning and the Basal Ganglia That means eating will become automatic based on those habits and won't require any other invading thought that might want you to eat junk food instead. My personal example of a healthy snack when I get a sugar craving is sliced apples and cashews. I now am so "addicted" to that food that it has become an automatic response which replaces my previous addiction to a snicker bar. So creating healthy habits that are an automatic response can work! Step 2: Remove temptations by creating an environment that supports healthy eating Since the Standard American Diet is unhealthy and leads to food addiction, dispose of all the junk food from your house and restock with whole, natural, organic, grass fed, free range, farm-to-table foods so you won't be tempted. Just like a recovering alcoholic is at risk by going into a bar, stay away from food locations that don't support your healthy eating efforts. And that includes staying away from all the junk food that is peddled in the break room at work! Step 3: Plan your meals and snacks ahead Don't get caught off guard and try to make healthy decisions when you are hungry. Your willpower is non-existent at that time. Prepare for the week by scheduling a day (like Sunday afternoon) for food shopping, menu planning and cutting up food for the week. Also pick another day in mid-week to do the same thing. Prepare lunches and snacks at home that you can take to work so you won't be sabotaged when you get there. These are solid solutions to retrain your brain into eating for health and life. For more details, please check out this youtube video. Please share how you are retraining your brain to manage today's eating challenges.
  9. Carol Ebert

    Optimize Before Your Demise

    I have heard many stories of the health toll that working as a nurse has taken but we often don't prioritize it as an issue. We just succumb to taking meds for issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, stress, or for whatever the health issue might be. What if I told you that there is a new direction toward healthy living that involves less drugs and more insights about what can be corrected so you can set yourself up for an OPTIMAL state of wellbeing in your next half of life. It's called Functional Medicine and it is the up and coming medical specialty that will be the next big thing to help take us to the next level of wellness. I was first introduced to this concept when I attended a nutrition training at Sanoviv Medical Institute in Rosarito Mexico, the first accredited functional medicine hospital in the world and a true healing environment. What an eye opener! At the time I wondered why we haven't embraced this concept in our country. So I want to share why this is different from what we currently do in the U.S. and how this concept might provide you with the answers you are looking for when you want to truly heal yourself after all these years of working and wearing yourself out. Here's how the two systems compare. Functional Medicine Conventional Medicine Health oriented Disease oriented Patient centered Doctor centered Biochemical individuality Everyone is treated the same way Holistic Specialized Cost Effective Expensive Looks at underlying causes of disease Diagnosis based on symptoms Preventative approach Early detection of disease High touch/high tech High tech After reflecting on these two lists, which one do you think supports OPTIMAL health? Let me share how all this played out in my life. My issue: Heart Palpitations. The first time I experienced this I was premenopausal, didn't know it and neither did my doctor so I had an EKG which was normal. He wanted to put me on an anti-anxiety med, but I refused. I then read about palpitations in Dr. Christiane Northrup's book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and realized it was a normal phenomenon. So I went on with my life. The next time I experienced palpitations was in the past 2 years and because I was going to Sanoviv Holistic Healing Center for some nutrition training, I asked to be checked out. They performed a very non-invasive stress test, Max Pulse Stress Test and discovered my sympathetic nervous system was on overdrive, my parasympathetic nervous system was almost non-existent and I had borderline adrenal fatigue. I never would have got a test like this from my healthcare provider, and therefore would never have known the underlying cause. As luck would have it, I was in the right place at the right time so I could start taking action on my own to resolve it. All the healing modalities were available to me there, so I jumped in with both feet and felt what true healing was all about. Most of those practices were already part of my life but I had been slacking off and could feel it! So when I got back home, here is what I did to get back on the path to OPTIMAL health. Reduced Stress This is the BIG one! Daily Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) to break up energy blocks and reduce cortisol Daily Chi Machine to balance the flow of energy in my body Weekly massages Scheduled more "down" time Got more rest, 7-8 hours/night is still the recommendation for optimal health Monthly Chiropractic sessions Improved Nutrition Got back to eating low-glycemic, lots of fresh produce Gluten-free, dairy-free, no sugar Organic whenever possible Nutritional supplements customized to my needs Exercised Jazzercise 4x/wk Walking on opposite days Guess what happened once I was back on track again - the palpitations went away - and without drugs! As a wellness professional, I already spend most of my time in the Functional Medicine world, but know there are times when I still need to use the services of Conventional Medicine. But it is only for a temporary fix, and the rest of the time it is up to me to be in control of striving for OPTIMAL health. So if you are thinking about retiring, where will you get the most helpful health information about what messages your body is sending you, what they mean, plus a roadmap to OPTIMAL health? Both Functional and Traditional Medicine have value, but to be honest in the world of Functional Medicine, you are empowered to achieve OPTIMAL health using their best practices for your next best years ahead. Drugs aren't always the answer. So what path are you willing to take and how healthy do you truly want to be? Would love to have you share.
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