Tagged "Positivity"

How to be More Passionate About Your Work

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

When it comes to our professional lives, we’ve been told to “lean in,” aim for the four-hour workweek, focus on “deep work,” and not give a f*ck. We’re encouraged by our employers to achieve on the highest level… but to absolutely prioritize work-life balance first. And we’re tasked with providing for our loved ones (and ourselves!) financially and emotionally. 

We here at Busy Happy Healthy know just how hard living well and working hard can be: We’re a team that sometimes needs to works long hours – including weekends and nights. But we’re also a group that deeply prioritizes health, happiness, and personal fulfillment. Which is why it is so important to try and be passionate about our work – ahead, we have our top three recommendations how to do just that.

Find what you like doing best and push to do more of it

Are you secretly a killer public speaker? Do you have a gift for writing? Are you a numbers whiz? Seek out areas in your job that reinforce your skill sets and try to make them more central to your role. I’ll use myself as an example: I started my career in media, where a lot of my job consisted in crunching numbers and whizzing through spreadsheets. I’m not an incredibly analytical person and I don’t love excel. Rough. 

I soon found, however, that there were other parts of my job that I really liked – such as writing media briefs, drafting client emails (seriously, I liked doing that), and contributing to creative brainstorms. I started asking my boss if I could sit in on more brainstorms, with my role being to send a recap email to all involved about what we discussed. My fellow colleagues loved how thoughtfully I summarized and (sometimes) contributed to the chats. Soon enough, creative and writing projects started pouring my way and that became my “thing.” 

Set goals and celebrate them

Many of us neglect to cheer for ourselves when we accomplish milestones, largely because we don’t even realize that they are milestones! Remedy that by establishing  – and then celebrating – goals. These don’t need to be the big and/or usual professional goals (get promoted, get a bonus, et cetera), but rather smaller, more intimate goals. For example, at the start of my career I used to really struggle with presenting to clients -- I’d become a nervous wreck. About two years in I was on a phone call and suddenly realized: I wasn’t nervous! I’m sure no one noticed but me, but that was an epic accomplishment. I didn’t celebrate it then but I sure as hell am going to celebrate it now: Go me!  

Look to the positives -- or look elsewhere 

Generally speaking, we get down easily. In fact, Psychology Today reports that up to 70% of our “mental chatter” is negative. Given that we, on average, spend 8-9 hours at work – which is more than the amount of time we spend asleep! – plenty of those thoughts are focused on our jobs. 

This is why it’s crucial to bring a persistently positive attitude to our careers. For example, instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your job (quarterly earnings reporting), stay focused on what you do enjoy (your colleagues). If you find it hard to be upbeat about your work at all, then try focusing on the positive things your job does for you -- even if it's as basic as the fact that it provides you and your family with a source of income. (Many of us our blessed to have things like regular paychecks or health insurance, but we often forget about those things in the midst of dreary office to-dos.) And, hey, if there's absolutely nothing positive in your job -- actual work or how it benefits you -- then you heard it here first: Maybe it's time to start passionately pursuing something new. We're rooting for you!

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Staying Zen in Trying Times

Posted by Amina AlTai on

This week, there's been a theme in both my coaching practice and in my own life.  Seemingly, many of us are feeling "off." From our exercise routines to eating clean, we are coming up short -- and often with a chocolate bar in hand.  It's no secret as to why: Most of us are feeling the pangs of anxiety and fear as our world quickly changes around us. 

I always say, our relationship to food is secondary.  It's not that we don't know how to make good choices or eat mindfully, it's that our habits can be a reflection of our relationship with the world; when we're freaked out, our eating (and other things) can follow suit.  It's more important than ever that when we're feeling out of whack to take the time to honor and love ourselves through self-care.  But even I forgot that this week.

I freaked out.  I had a moment where I succumbed to my own fear and judgement, because, well, #human.  I didn't reach for the candy, though. Instead, my acid tongue got the best of me and I said things I shouldn't have.  I realized that people I care deeply about have made choices that are very different to my own.  It called into question my value, my worth, and triggered my inner child so hard I had to put myself in a time out.  But, it quickly became apparent, it's not about me, and it's not about you.  It's about us.  And how we choose to come together versus stand apart.  If I choose judgement, I choose separation, and that is not #BeingTheLight.  

But what do we do when we're so deeply mired in our feelings we fear we'll never be pulled out?  I'm glad you asked. Here's my process for pulling myself out of fear and into love.  And it's never been more relevant. So, go on.  Give it a try!

Ground yourself

Try a gratitude meditation or quick breathing exercise.  Even four deep inhales can switch your body from fight or flight to a state of rest.  See our favorite meditations for freakout here.

Identify judgement (to yourself and others) and work to let it go.  

Journal out where you might be judgmental and how it's causing separation, fear and anxiety.   My favorite thing to do is just pour all my feelings onto the page (no matter how crazy).  And then go back, line by line, and identify where fear might be taking over.  Then I go back and rewrite my feelings with a whole new perspective.  

Sweat it out.  

The best way to get our of your head is to get into your body.  Exercise is also a great mood booster so maybe skip the evening news cycle and hit the gym hard. Endorphin release is different for everybody, so there is not set way.  But, I do recommend a nice run on the treadmill, an upbeat spin class or even weight training.  

Treat yourself (well!) 

I don't mean run for the ice cream.  I mean do something kind for yourself, such as drawing a bath with essential oils and candles. F rom Greece to the Middle East,to Japan, healing baths are centuries-old wellness traditions; healers would recommend them as a way of dispelling illness and calming the nervous system.  Try scents like Clary Sage, Lavender and Sandalwood to help support your calm.  

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Seven Health Hacks to Implement Now

Posted by Julia McVeigh on

In the beginning of the year most of us have two things on the brain: Rebooting our health and taking a vacation. But with busy careers, weekends occupied by family, and the seemingly endless to-do list that is “life,” it’s often hard to a take a trip, let alone get a workout in. This is why easy-to-implement health hacks are our BFFs in the New Year. Ahead, we’re sharing seven of our favorites. 

Go on a Cab Strike


One of the simplest ways to improve your overall health is to generally become more active. While this seems easy enough, many of us think that it requires gym memberships, boxing gloves, or spinning shoes. Don’t overcomplicate things! Getting active can be as easy as walking more in your day-to-day existence. Begin by taking a “cab strike” – aka no taxis, period. Either take public transportation (which inherently requires more walking) or bike / walk from place to place. Use your smartphone or a step tracker and you’ll be shocked by just how much more active you’ve become.

Add Collagen Peptides to Your Morning Smoothie


As we get older, our collagen production naturally declines, something which anti-aging skincare commercials are sure to remind us again and again. But aside from losing skin elasticity and resilience, diminished collagen production can have negative impacts on both joint and bone health. Cue: Collagen peptides. These powdered supplements contain the amino acids necessary to produce more collagen and keep skin, joints, and bones healthy. We love Vital Proteins – an odorless, tasteless version sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides – and prefer adding it to our AM smoothie, yogurt, or oatmeal.

Make Your Desk a Standing Desk


Research says sitting can kill you. But if you have a job that requires computer time, meetings, and a generally sedentary lifestyle, it’s hard to sidestep that scary reality. Why not opt for a standing desk, then? While there are plenty of options available online, we prefer to do the old-fashioned version: Stacking some thick, coffee table books on our desk. Try doing intervals of 20 minutes standing, 10 minutes sitting to begin and gradually work up to more standing time. Added points if you listen to some music and shake your booty.

Instead of Milk, Infuse Your Coffee with Coconut Oil

We all hear that we should be eating plenty of healthy fats to boost our immune system, gain more energy, and rev up our metabolism. But sometimes, our beloved cup of coffee is all we want in the morning. In lieu of cream, then, try stirring in a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil into your java each morning to get that blast of good fat. Added bonus: It still lends your coffee that rich, creamy consistency you’re craving.

Start Using Your Body Weight While You Wait

A photo posted by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on


You don’t need a pair of dumbbells to build muscle and lean out. Using your own body weight to exercise is a fantastic way to kick-start getting in shape, plus you can do it anywhere (read: while waiting for dinner to be ready). Need some inspiration? We recommend basic old pushups (they’re hard!), squats (head here to see what good form looks like), and planks as good beginning moves. Try doing three circuits of ten pushups, ten squats, and one minute in plank position and we dare you not feel accomplished – and sore – the next day.

Add Turmeric to (Almost) Everything


The benefits of eating turmeric are seemingly endless – it has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a natural detoxifier, and it can even help boost your metabolism. It’s also lends a vaguely Eastern, not-too-spicy zip to any dish with just a couple of dashes. We love it on roasted veggies, in stews and in chili, and – surprise! – in our scrambled eggs (it really enhances the yellow color, natch). Or take a cue from Jeannette Ogden and stir some into your oatmeal! 

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Sticking to Your Resolutions Is Easy When You know How

Posted by Amina AlTai on

We're less than a week into the new year and we're already casting major side-eye at our resolutions.  Why are they such a challenge to stick to?  Why does it always feel against our good nature to embrace a healthier, more positive version of ourselves?  It's not us that's broken though.  It's the idea of resolutions that is failing us.  Here's how we can do better:  

1. Set goals, not resolutions:  We all know that resolutions are made to be broken.  We set them too high, too lofty and we often set ourselves up to fail from the get-go.  If there is an area of your life you're working on, set specific and measurable goals for the day, week, month, quarter and maybe even the year.  Don't expect to go from zero to 100 overnight though.  So, if for example you set a goal of working out more in 2017, you might say in January you want to go to the gym twice a week.  Once you comfortably accomplish that, think of how you might kick your goals up a notch for February and go from there.  The key is taking the goal one milestone at a time. 

2. Remember your why:  Connecting to your reason for change is a great way to stay on track.  If your goal is to lose weight so you can have more energy to play with your kids, focus on that not just the weight loss.  Imagine how you'll feel running with them at the playground, going on bike rides or playing hide and seek.  Hold on to that feeling.  Finding the real meaning in your goals will keep you connected to the bigger picture.  Keep constant reminders with you all day.  Maybe it's a picture of your child on your desk at work, or your favorite positive affirmation.  Whatever it is, make sure your why is visible so you remember it throughout the day.  

3. Keep yourself accountable:  A recent study found that those who go it alone at the gym have a 43% dropout rate over the year while those who workout with a partner dropout at a rate closer to 6%.  And for good reason.  The positivity and camaraderie we find in groups keeps us on track and moving towards the bigger picture.  If you have a big goal on your list for 2017, phone a friend and ask them to keep you accountable.  Break your goal down into attainable chunks and update your friend weekly on your progress.  

4. Forgive and reboot:  Change is not about perfection, it's about progress.  If you find yourself falling short, don't get stuck in shaming or white-knuckling yourself.  Simply forgive yourself, (you are human after all) reboot and vow to do better next time.    

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My Guide To 2017 Resolutions

Posted by Amina AlTai on

We make um and we break um, right?  Usually, resolutions are far too tough to stick to because they're usually rather lofty or because we have some fundamental shifts to make before we can allow ourselves to really achieve those goals.  Here are my tips on how to set resolutions and goals; allowing them to be a source of joy and fuel, versus a list of failures.   

1. Don't just set goals for the year:  That can be too big picture for most of us.  Create a pathway to success by also setting 3 and 6 months goals for you to achieve along the way.  When you tackle the smaller, more attainable goal, the next step much more within reach.

2. Have someone hold you accountable: Accountability is really key to everything.  Some of us can hold ourselves accountable by making promises to ourselves and offering consequences when those promises are broken.  For the rest of us, we need another person to keep us engaged and delivering week after week.  I fall into the latter camp.  When I started writing my book earlier this year, I knew I needed someone else to hold me accountable.  So I started chatting with friends and colleagues and soon realized they also needed the same thing.  So, I created a weekly accountability group where we all share our goals, what we're working on and hope to achieve in the next week.  It helps us get even more micro with goal setting—drilling down into the week by week. But, it also holds a safe space for us to honor our feelings and what we're working against.  Which is a great segue into my next point.  

3.  If you're out of integrity with your actions, look at your emotions:  Let's say one of your resolutions was to workout more and eat healthier.  But 8pm rolls around every night and you reach for the box of cookies and devour the whole thing.  What's up with that?!  Your heart might be in the right place with the goal, but there is probably more to it.  What is the emotion that's behind the self-sabotage?  Are you afraid to step into your own power?  Are you punishing yourself because you don't think you're worthy of success?  Whatever it is, get a pen and paper and start free writing.  Write it out until it's clear to you what the emotion behind the action is.  Then set some promises around that.  If you realize that you're reaching for cookies at night to sabotage your diet because you're afraid what it might feel like to love yourself and step into your own greatness, start by just realizing what you're doing.  That awareness is the biggest and best step you could take.  Instead of punishing yourself or beating yourself up, be kind to yourself and make a promise to do better next time.  And just keep at it.  The more you catch yourself and clear our the emotions behind the self-sabbotage, the easier it will become to stay in integrity with your resolutions.  

4. Write them down: When we take then out of our heads and put them on the page, they become real.  Jot your weekly goals down and share with your accountability group.  Put your annual goals down too—but don't look at them everyday if it causes anxiety and you feel too disconnected from them.  I write mine on a small note card and place them in my wallet.  I come across them once a month and it makes me smile knowing I'm working towards the bigger picture.  

5. Don't just make a list:  A list can be completely devoid of feeling.  When we feel things, truly and deeply, they become real to us.  So, instead of a love-less list, write your dreams out in paragraph form and focus on how they FEEL to you.  When I write my career dream every year I focus on how the environment feels, the amazing people I want to work with and the joy I get from doing what I love day in and day out.  That feeling is what keeps me connected to the goals day in and day out.  

How do you go about your resolutions?  We'd love to hear!

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