7 Things I’m Leaving Behind In 2017

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The new year is just around the corner, and joy is in the air. December is the month people buy their planners, get new calendars, set goals, and make a list of all their resolutions. The intention behind these actions is clear: “New year, new me.” We somehow feel that these practices tell 2017, “We are ready for you!” But, are we?

Every year, I make a list of the things I purposely don’t want to see in my new year. From time to time I review my “naughty” list to make sure I haven’t fallen back to old habits. We have all heard the saying “out with the old, in with the new.” Truthfully, we can’t enjoy the new if we don’t make a conscious effort to get rid of the old. What things pushed you further away from yourself and your goals?

If you want to experience a better new year, here are nine things you must leave behind in 2016.

1. Diets and easy fixes

Leave the “I’m on a diet” life. Focus on having a healthy mind and perspective. Nurture your health from the inside out. Once you have a healthy “inside” it’s easier to condition your body. A diet will keep you stuck on an endless cycle. Create a lifestyle that supports the belief you have cultivated about yourself and healthy living.

2. Destructive relationships

Leave behind relationships that subtract from you. If a romantic, collegiate, family, business relationship or friendship is taking away from you, abandon ship. Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Evaluate your circle.

3. Fear of trying

Leave behind the fear of giving it a try. I get it. Some things can be scary. But fear is healthy to a degree. It keeps us safe from obvious dangers like running into other cars or jumping off a cliff. Taking a risk? Trying something new? No. Tell fear, “Thanks for wanting to keep me safe, but you are not making this decision for me, so bye bye.” Feel the fear and then give it a shot.

4. Saying “I don’t know”

You are smarter than you think. Your words give your mind directions on what to do. Repeating the phrase “I don’t know” keeps your mind in a state of confusion and procrastination. If you are unsure of an answer, Google it or ask someone. If you are in the middle of a life decision and have no idea what you’re going to decide, say, “I’m in the middle of getting clarity.” Words are powerful.

5. Self-limiting beliefs

Leave behind the lies you keep telling yourself. “I will never figure this out. Things will always be this way. This always happens to me. I can’t do that. I always have bad luck. I will always be poor. I will never make it.” Really? Just stop. There are too many resources available today for you to not get what you want.

6. Your ex-anything

Leave the past in the past. This could be an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-hookup, ex-booty call, ex-side chick/dude, or ex-friend. Just leave them behind. They are an ex for a reason. Stop running towards the comfort of knowing them and move your life forward. There is more to life than the world you once lived via your ex.

7. Regrets

You are human and will make mistakes. You feel regret after eating that cookie. Really? Enjoy it. You feel regret after having fun all night and waking up tired? Please. Enjoy life. One day you won’t have the energy to stay up all night. Be thankful for the mistakes you have made and what they taught you, but don’t feel regret for being human. Ever.

We anticipate starting life from a clean slate. For some that can be on a birthday and for the rest of us it can be during a new year. Before focusing too much on what you want from 2017, consider the things you must abandon. The idea of a new year and a clean slate is possible if you choose to clean the slate yourself.

What can you add to this list? What other things should be left behind in 2016?

Love Allison 💛

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Fighting The Holiday Blues? Eat Seaweed and Volunteer

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‘Tis the season to be jolly? Not necessarily. For many people the holiday season, which kicks off with Thanksgiving and spans through New Year’s Day, is anything but blissful. In fact, this time of year may trigger a bout of the blues or perhaps ignite a depression that has been smoldering under the surface for months.

Lonely people – without family or friends – and those who grew up in dysfunctional families and have unpleasant memories of the holidays, simply can’t achieve the ideal that many commercial images of the holidays portray.  That was me.  I grew up in a very dysfunctional family and lost both my parents between Thanksgiving and Christmas as a teen. My association with holidays was always depressing. Then I learned that there were some things I could do to help boost my mood.

What we eat and drink directly affects the structure of the brain that, in turn, influences the brain’s function. This includes both the synthesis and function of neurotransmitters as well as the presence or absence of inflammation. Most psychiatrists fail to appreciate the role of nutrition in mental health. Medication alone cannot help you make up for a crappy diet.

9 Nutrients Important For Mental Health

1. Omega-3 Fats-Food sources of omega-3 fats are fatty fish, omega-3 fortified eggs, and supplements.

2. Iodine-Good food sources include seaweed, cod, and iodized salt.
Moderate food sources include milk, yogurt, and eggs.

3. Zinc-Good food sources include oysters, crab, beef, lamb, pork, dark meat, chicken, legumes, cashews, and a good-quality multivitamin with minerals.

4. Magnesium -Good food sources include nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains, bran, and dark chocolate.

5. Vitamin D-The few natural food sources available include oil/fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and trout and eggs to a lesser extent.  Vitamin D deficiency has not only been linked to depression but anxiety, SAD, and dementia as well. Supplementation is the only viable option to raise vitamin D levels enough to lower the risk of depression.

6. Selenium -Good food sources include Brazil nuts, fish, ham, shrimp, liver, and chicken.

7. Iron -Good food sources are beef, pork, lamb, dark meat chicken, eggs, liver, oysters, and white beans.

8. B Complex -B vitamins are found in whole grains, nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, and meat.

9. Vitamin C -Good food sources include citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, and strawberries.

Now that you’re feeding your brain let’s try some action steps.
1. Redefine the holidays as a joyful time for you, and pursue what is involves in making them so. Specifically, don’t feel obligated to pursue holiday activities that are unpleasant or overwhelming simply because they have always been the thing to do. For example, if cooking for the whole family feels like too much, consider a pot luck dinner or eating out.
2. If Christmas shopping and writing cards are more than you can handle, use the wonders of the Internet to help out. Shop and send greetings online and save time and effort and perhaps even a tree or two.
3. Don’t bother fighting the crowds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Evidence suggests that you may find better bargains later in the season.
4. If you are feeling lonely or disadvantaged, volunteering can be a good way to restore a sense of proportion to your situation – and help others at the same time. Counting one’s blessings and helping those who are less fortunate are two time-honored ways of bringing happiness.
5. Finally, enjoy those aspects of the season and your own mind and body that cost absolutely nothing – walk outside on a bright winter day and enjoy the special beauty of nature in the winter; exercise and meditate. How wonderful to think that our own bodies and minds can provide us with remedies for the holiday blues – and so many other afflictions of the spirit.

Stay connected with friends and family.  Be careful not to isolate yourself. Despite how you may associate with the holidays, there are many blessings around you. Just open your eyes and be present to them.

Love, Allison 💛