Tag Archive for: Health

Your Overseas Covid-19 Checklist for Healthy Travel

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It happened. I got Covid-19 and had to be quarantined in a foreign country. Yep.  Thankfully that country was France and since I’m vaccinated and boosted I had mild symptoms but it was a bummer nonetheless. If you’re thinking of traveling and scared about what might happen if you get sick – don’t be afraid, just be prepared.

If you know me, you know I love to travel and you know I love Paris in particular.  I’ve been fortunate to visit many times so when my husband Jay and I couldn’t go during the pandemic I had a serious case of travel withdrawal. I dreamed about the day I could be back with the fat pigeons drinking real Champagne and eating macarons from Pierre Hermes. It had been 3 years, 1 month and 14 days since my last time in the City of Lights.

After two years of being so careful it hurt, Jay and I ventured back into the world and caught Covid-19. Yep. And we got stuck in Paris. Ok fine there are worse places to be quarantined but still, it was not easy. Plus, I lost my sense of taste and smell so my dreams of enjoying all my favorite French delicacies flew out the window.

However, I have to say that my love of lists kept me sane and healthy during this ordeal. So I figured why not share what I learned in a Healthy Travel Checklist. Here goes…

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Setting Boundaries Virtually and In-Person

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Saying “no” can be harder than it seems. Especially in-person. As we re-enter the office or start our more permanent hybrid work schedules, it’s important to learn how to set boundaries and protect your time.

It’s become such a hot topic that I was interviewed on PIX 11 and my LinkedIn Learning course “How to Set Boundaries and Protect Your Time” is one of three courses in LinkedIn’s new “Mastering Hybrid Work” Pathfinder series.

Here are three ways to get started setting boundaries.

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Stress Solutions for Every Situation

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As much as we want it to, stress will never disappear permanently.

Whether it’s a presentation you’re giving for work or going out to lunch with somebody for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, stress is there whether it’s chronic or just in the moment.  According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, Americans are more stressed than ever.

So it’s important to know how to prevent stress and how to deal with stress when it’s unavoidable.

I spoke with expert energy trainer, Lara Riggio, on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop, who taught us some Stress Solutions.

Here are four ways to help you address your stress.

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From Burnout to Balance

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Lots of people say they’re overwhelmed. But there’s a difference between feeling stressed out and being burned out.

And it can be hard to tell the difference. And even harder to take care of yourself through it and prevent it from happening again.

I invited nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist, healthy cooking expert, and speaker, Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop to learn the difference, how to prevent burnout, and her new book From Burnout to Balance.

Here are four things to know about burnout.

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The Power of Doing Nothing

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You’ve got work to-do lists, home to-do lists, personal to-do lists, returning-to-the-office to-do lists – the list of lists goes on and on. But how often is doing nothing on your to-do list?

It might seem counterintuitive, but adding nothing to your to-do list can help you become more productive.

On the most recent episode on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop, I spoke with Pandit Dasa, author of Closing the Apps in Your Mind and Urban Monk, mindfulness leadership expert, CEO, and former NYC monk  – who offered his insight on how doing nothing can help you accomplish everything.

1) Closing the apps in your mind.

This is more than just the title of Pandit’s book – closing the apps in your mind is a metaphor for why meditation is so important. When too many apps are open on your smart device it clutters the machine, slows down its functions, and drains the battery.

And your brain works the same way.

Taking time to breathe and do nothing increases your awareness of your own thoughts, which can help you let negative or unhelpful thoughts pass without judgement.

2) How closing out your apps helps you.

But why is noticing your thoughts and letting them pass so important? Pandit brings up a Psychology Today article which says we have thousands of thoughts in a day and all of them impact us whether we realize it or not. He goes on to say, every three or four seconds our mind opens a new thought tab, and even though we don’t remember all the thoughts, “it still exhausts us.”

Ever find yourself having an imaginary fight or preparing for a situation that might not even happen? Or worrying about something that happened in the past for a little too long? Only to realize you’ve lost a chunk of your day accidentally? That’s what happens when all your apps are open.

It’s easy to get distracted and sucked into a thought without realizing, the same way you can fall into an internet rabbit hole. And that really cuts into your productivity and stress levels, throwing your whole day off.

Pandit explained it perfectly, “A calm mind is a great foundation on which the rest of the day can be built.” And a calm mind makes for a healthier and happier mind and life. Taking the time to exist in the quiet, hear your thoughts, and let them pass, can help you stay focused in the present moment, increase your creativity, productivity, and decrease your stress and irritability.

3) Preparing to do nothing.

It’s easier to talk about meditation than to do it. Pandit recommends putting “yourself on the calendar.” Adding meditation to your to-do list is one of the best ways to ensure you do it (and don’t open more apps on your phone – or in your mind.)

And don’t worry, you don’t need to clear two hours every morning the way Pandit did during his days at the monastery when he was a monk. You just need to find a few minutes at a time that’s convenient for you. For some people first thing in the morning, for some before bed, and for others it’s the middle of the day. I like to meditate in the morning or else I find that I never get to it.

As Pandit reminds me, the most important part of meditation is doing it – not how long or what time you do it. Adding that if we don’t put ourselves on the calendar, “if we don’t prepare to do nothing, we’ll end up doing something, while we’re doing nothing.”

4) Is there a best way to do nothing?

There is no best way to meditate. Pandit suggests trying different ways and sticking with the method that works best for you. You can try taking a walk outside alone or with your pet, closing your eyes and paying attention to your breath before a big meeting, using apps like Calm, or simply putting your device away and looking out the window while eating lunch.

Don’t worry if you don’t feel the difference right away. Meditation is a practice – so it takes time and continuous practice to start noticing the effects. As long as your device is away, you’re focused on your breath. If, like Pandit, you ask your thoughts to “please stay in the waiting room” of your mind for a few minutes, you’re on the right track.

And if you’re not sure how to clear the time for meditation, check out my LinkedIn Learning course, How to Set Boundaries and Protect Your Time, which includes tips on how to prioritize your needs throughout the day.

It may feel a little strange to do at first, but a little bit of “nothing” can go a long way towards increasing your productivity and happiness. And who doesn’t want that?

You can check out our full conversation and kick start your meditation practice with a meditation led by Pandit here!

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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