Dec 29, 2020
Habits to become Happier and Healthier in the new year
“Building habits slowly and steadily is much better than trying, expecting yourself to be perfect and then failing.”
Episode 120 talks to Debra Wanger, an actor, singer, and certified wellness coach. Debra grew up in Chicago and has been acting since she was nine years old. She worked as a professional actor for a long time. When she was working she was happy, but when she wasn’t working she was unhappy, depressed, and moody. She was not in a good place, so she set off on a journey and learned a ton about business, and ended up getting certified as a health coach.
She started coaching other actors on how to stay sane and healthy in the business. That led to a few books, coaching and speaking, and working with universities and students on how to be in a creative career and not get sucked into the pitfalls of being unhappy, unhealthy, and miserable. Today she works with a lot of entrepreneurs and people of all walks and helps them to navigate through this crazy time of life, which she calls the “Corona Coaster.”
“It’s a great time for us to refocus on the things that are most important and it is almost giving us permission to really recreate ourselves.” - Brooke Elder.
It’s good to purge your life of things that aren’t serving you anymore like habits and daily practices. Figure out what you need to do each day to make progress. If you figure out what your goals are, then break it down into steps. What do you need to do each day to get closer to the goal? What are the benchmarks, yearly, quarterly, monthly, and daily to get to that point?
Another goal is self-care, that kind of daily habit to keep you having good energy, a good mindset, and being able to do all those things that you need to do. Self-care includes sleep, hydration, stress management, exercise, fun, and social connection.
When you start taking care of yourself you start being okay with who you are and yes, you have flaws, but that’s fine because that’s what makes you who you are.
With all of the uncertainty in the world right now it is important to prioritize stress management. Meditation is a great way to do this. Your brain has thoughts just like your heart beats blood, the brain makes thoughts. So meditation is not about stopping all thoughts in your brain, it’s about slowing your thoughts and taking little pauses between thoughts. Meditation doesn’t have to be an hour on a soft cushion in a perfect room, it can be just sitting in a chair and closing your eyes and breathing for a minute to take a pause.
Anything you can do to help yourself feel safe in this time of uncertainty is so important. The other kinds of stress management are taking a hot bath or exchanging foot rubs with somebody. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or even outside of your home, just call a friend and download all of those feelings that are coming up and stay socially connected.
“Do what you can do, you don’t need to change your whole entire universe.” - Debra Wanger.
You don’t need to fix everything right away, right now. Do what you can and be happy with that. Then if you can do more, awesome. Expect yourself to be good, then you can hit that. You can hit the mark. If you would like to find more information about Debra’s books, podcasts, and speaking engagements go to debrawanger.com. Her book, “The Resilient Actor” is available on Amazon and Audible.
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