While on an incredibly long travel day to our annual NJ beach vacation (which included three delays and an emergency landing in Upstate NY!) I had plenty of time to thumb through my stack of Clean Eating Magazines. I discovered that they started a little one-pager called “5 Things I Do In a Day to Stay Grounded”. In each issue, a different person is interviewed.
This gave me the idea to start our own blog series: “5 Things I Do to Stay Balanced”. In the next few weeks, you will hear from each of us at Mindful Family Medicine – and get a peek inside our lives and get to know us all a little better!
I’m up first….
5 Things I Do To Stay Balanced: Debbie Steinbock, HHC
- Eat protein at breakfast. I have learned over the years that I feel best when I have protein for breakfast. I stay fuller longer, I do not get cravings, my energy is sustained and my brain feels sharp. In the warmer months I may opt for a souped-up smoothie or an egg and veggie scramble. In the colder months, I enjoy leftover soups, coddled eggs, or kitchari.
- Feel the sun on my body. My body not only loves the sun, it truly needs it! The sun makes me feel happy, energized, and grounded. In the summer, I eat breakfast outside on our deck daily. In the cooler months, I try to eat lunches outside as often as I can. When it’s too cold, I am like a cat who will seek out the sunniest spot in my house to bask in the sun, even if that is the floor! We also intentionally schedule winter vacations to warm, sunny places such as California and Florida because those bursts of warmth recharge me and help me feel healthy throughout the winter.
- Quiet my mind, observe & direct my thoughts. For better and for worse, my mind works fast! Over the last 8 years I have tried various practices aimed to quiet this incessant mental chatter and doing so has proven very beneficial for my well-being. Recently, I have taken on the task of “curiously observing” this inner stream of thoughts, thereby bringing consciousness to what usually runs unconsciously “behind the scenes”. In doing so, I am seeking to direct more of my thoughts to those of my choosing…and to let go of those thoughts that no longer serve me today. I will write more on this in the upcoming months, but I believe that the brain is a HUGE contributor to our health (both emotional and physical) and these “mental tune-ups” are necessary.
- Move at my own rhythm. Between being a wife, parent, and business owner, I find that much of my time is scheduled down to the minute. Although I enjoy these roles, I find that they often take me outside of my body’s innate rhythm (which is NOT go-go-go). When the outside world takes me too far from my inner rhythm, I start to feel off balance. I strive to give myself multiple times each week when I can make a choice about what to do – as well as what not to do. Sometimes this means staying an extra 15-minutes in my unusually quiet, empty house before heading back to work after lunch. Sometimes it is working from home and choosing when I want to take a break and get out on a hike (rather than planning to meet a friend at a certain time). Other times it is making a conscious decision to not sign the kids up for anything on the weekends one semester so we can linger in our PJs longer and be more spontaneous. Getting clear about my own rhythm (and allowing myself the space to move at it) is a huge part of maintaining balance for me.
- Connection. If you have ever walked into my home (or my office) it’s unlikely you’ve gotten out without a hug! When Roy and I first met he teased me and called me a “forced-hugger”! I seek connection on both an emotional and physical level. My family, my friendships and my career all provide me with this connection that is vital for my happiness.