One of the benefits of having worked as a magazine journalist is that I'm still on various media lists. I love reading new research pertaining to kids and family and relationships and health and fitness. Recently I was emailed a new report on wellness for children so I thought it was important to share given my own self-care mission for women. Here are some of the findings:
Parents are only spending 2.5 hours a week outside with their kids and we wonder why our kids are just as stressed as we are. 📚📚📚
New Study Says Get Outside More
New research by Nestlé Waters reveals the extent to which kids are affected by stress, with over three-quarters (84%) of 10 to 14-year olds admitting they often experience stress as defined by feelings of worry or anxiety that lead to changes in behaviour i.e. difficulty sleeping, bad dreams, or reduced confidence and concentration.
When asked about coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, turning to a games console was the most common choice (43%) for children, followed by eating foods they like (36%), lying for long periods in bed (28%) and just staying alone in their rooms (27%).
And finally, when asked about whether having access to the outdoors would help to make a difference, over three-quarters (83%) of children said that being outdoors surrounded by nature would make them feel happier.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Get active and outdoors with your kids for happier lives all around. 💗 For more on how you can implement self-care into your life on the home front and at work, contact me for personal coaching, stress-less tips, articles, or speaking adventures to help you, your company or facility.
In health, Kerrie-Lee
A while back I had the pleasure of meeting Deepak Chopra at a media event. When I reflect on this once-in-a-lifetime interaction, it amazes me how far I've come personally and spiritually and how much his words of slowing down and taking time to breathe every day would become such a big part of my daily curriculum. Life truly wows me sometimes. Things really do come full circle. As a long-time magazine editor and writer for various outlets, I know I have been blessed to work in the industry that I have. So on to what happened...
Perhaps my wanting to go to this special event was two-fold: On a personal note, I had been going through my own spiritual journey since a health scare in 2013. Professionally, I wanted to learn more about his important messages on how to live happier and healthier. I've always loved yoga too so that was a no-brainer. But for some reason, as soon as I opened the invitation, I knew this wouldn't be your average media event where editors and writers mingle and talk shop or gossip about the latest cutbacks and how print is a lost art. This was going to be a life-changing experience for me so I took it as a sign I had to attend now matter what.
For those of you who don't know, Deepak Chopra is a world-renowned physician and expert in mind-body healing, and has written over 65 books including New York Times bestsellers. He has a huge following in every country, along with many celebrity clients, and is highly respected around the globe for his thought-provoking teachings about alternative medicine. I was excited.
We had to remove our shoes at the door when we got there. A tad unusual for a press event, but after all, it was the opening of the new Chopra Yoga Center in Toronto so it made perfect sense. And actually put everyone at ease.
Deepak entered from the back of the room and the applause erupted. Not surprisingly though, with hence his incredible allure. It was almost as if he had walked out on to Oprah's stage. He was wearing a nicely tailored suit and he stood in front of the table that was set out for him to sit at so he could be up close and personal with our small privileged group. He opened by asking us what we wanted to talk about, which spawned a few giggles from the crowd.
We wanted to hear his thoughts on life, love and happiness of course!
He spoke clearly and calmly and looked straight in people’s eyes as if to invoke some sort of trance. As we listened to his theories on the best lifestyle practices for brain health, and how important they are for busy parents, he said: “Every now and then, stop, and ask: ‘Am I aware? What am I aware of?” And the world will open up.” The audience was silent.
His words filled me with emotion and pride. I’ve made some changes in my life over the past 10 months that have made me a stronger, more self-aware person, too. And hearing him speak about this topic right there in front of me was the affirmation I needed that I’m on the right path.
We were also able to ask him some questions. I was up.
“What was the inspiration behind your book Super Brain?” I asked him excitedly.
What came next was not what I had expected. Deepak laughed. Laughed! (Well, maybe more of a chuckle but it was directed at my question particularly. He said simple and sweet, it was a great question because of the answer he was about to tell.
“It was inspired in the bathroom,” he chuckled.
Turns out he met his co-author Rudolph Tanzi, PhD. in the bathroom at a conference and they casually started talking about the brain and how it was the key to health, happiness and well-being. After a few hours of brainstorming (literally) they had decided to write a book together. Wow! Now, I knew people did a lot of thinking in the toilet, but this was crazy.
What else did I learn?
He said regular exercise, yoga, proper breathing techniques, sleep, meditating at least twice a day, and avoiding alcohol are all imperative to self-awareness. In other words, getting to know yourself inside and out is critical to being happy and healthy. This all made perfect sense to me.
But he also said that multi-tasking is the one skill you can’t make better with practice.
“If you’re doing everything at once you’re not doing anything at all.” This was my biggest takeaway.
I thought about this for a moment. It's so true. As women we try to do it all. We want to be superwoman 24-7. And we pride ourselves on our multi-tasking skills. In fact, it’s often our survival technique. But to my surprise, Deepak didn’t agree with this theory. He told us that women. and moms specifically, need to realize there’s more to the precious time we spend trying to get everything done.
“You need to meditate every day, and if you don’t have time, then you need to do it more,” he explained.
In other words, those of us who claim we don’t have enough time to do things for ourselves, are really the ones who need it the most. So true.
Take a few minutes from your hectic day to slow down. Find a quiet spot in your house or close your office door at lunch and do a 15-minute meditation. How does this make you feel? Are you ready to take on the rest of your day? Try to meditate once a day (preferably in the morning) as it will help clear your mind and relieve stress.
Whether you're an aspiring model, life coach, writer, designer, healer, photographer, make-up artist, nutritionist, marketer or trainer looking for clients—you're not going to further your career in this competitive landscape if you don't promote yourself or your work online.
All entrepreneurs struggle from time to time to figure out WHO THEY ARE. Don't worry, I've been there too!
More and more companies today are outsourcing creative services and have found that hiring third-party professionals is the way to go. Why? Because there's usually no overhead, lower risk, and contracts can be long or short-term.
Over the years, a lot of new business owners have asked me how they can stay fresh and top of mind when everyone it seems is selling their services too. In fact, as you read this, your favourite inspiration and business icons are tweeting, posting, blogging and uploading right now!
Perhaps it's because when I was the editor of a popular women's fitness magazine, I worked with a lot of models—and also mentored tons of aspiring writers and editors on how to get published. But since then the world has changed, and almost everyone is an "expert" in their field. I too find it difficult to keep up sometimes, but it's crucial as a business person and master of your own domain to stay curious about how you can further your knowledge to become the best at what you love to do. So if you're not already—you better get online!
Here are some quick tips that have helped me:
1. BE SEARCHABLE
The more you pop up on Google searches and social networking sites--the more exposure you'll get--the more your name will get traction in people's feeds--and the more memorable you'll remain. In fact, I just spoke to a colleague in the mainstream modelling world who now urges potential clients to check out his talent's profiles and pictures online instead of waiting to see traditional composite (comp) cards at auditions. And same goes for creative agencies that hire designers, writers, web developers, content specialists, production, art directors etc. they insist on seeing online portfolios and landing pages before they even consider you.
2. BE VISIBLE
If you don't have clear and consistent personal branding and a recognizable website, blog, and social media feed, you may also be overlooked. If you aren't a creative person and don't know the first thing about design or creating a brand that best represents you, hire a professional or offer a trade for services. It's important to create and promote a look and feel that resonates with your clients and will keep them coming back.
3. STAY ACTIVE
Post it! Don't be shy—you're trying to showcase your work people! How else are you going to get some buzz out there? Social media hotspots such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest among others are extremely important tools for individuals wanting to market themselves. If you're not on at least two or three of these sites, I'd say you're going to be out of luck. Of course, word of mouth still works in some industries, however if you want to expand your clientele and make more money today, you need to be social. Sure, it can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but trust me... posting informative, inspirational or amazing portfolio pieces once a day will keep you out there. Praise from clients is also crucial. Always ask for a testimonial or review for your product or service with each new happy client. Also make sure your official bio is up-to-date on your website and offer a "media bio" if necessary in your industry. If your business changes focus or you implement a new direction—make sure you tell your clients and fan base online.
4. FIND A MENTOR
Like anything, allowing yourself to become vulnerable at times in your personal or professional life can actually improve your situation. It may seem like taking two steps forward, and three back, but it is monumental to the bigger picture. I look back on my own business journey and all the ups and downs—even a move to a new country—and often I felt overwhelmed and overworked and like I wanted to throw the towel in. Especially when I decided to branch out and officially develop my own publishing and consulting business after sporadically freelancing for years.
I had no team, no consultants, no one to lean on at 2 a.m. when I was confused about how to do something on the back-end of my website (yes I still do all my website updates myself). I also decided to self-publish my book with no agent and no manager—and I've gotten all my press to date myself. But it's tough. I still worry every day that my lucky streak will run out or there's someone else out there who will come along and take my clients or potential clients. But don't fret, these thoughts are very normal!
Remember, it's smart to know how to manage these aspects of your own business from day one anyways. Don't just delegate (if you have the money that is, which most start-up business owners don't) because this is your brand and your passion, so you should be in control. Because learning from your mistakes is one of the best things you can do. Also, a good piece of advice is to find a mentor or someone you look up to from a business aspect or who works in the industry you are hoping to break into. Most people will be open-minded to share their experience. And if they're not, do you really want to be like them?
A good mentor will be there for you through the trials and tribulations and hopefully long after you've made your first million!
Remember, staying competitive means setting up shop where your fans are. I hope this post motivates you to stay on top of your business goals and go after your dreams. If you have any questions about how I can mentor you in these or any other area such as; what the press is looking for, writing, getting published, or marketing and communications--or if you would like me to speak at your school, conference, team-building event, meetup or on a call, please contact me. I also offer private consultation calls in the areas of personal branding, social media, content creation etc. You just have to take the first step. Good luck!
P.S. Also don't forget to Sign Up for my upcoming e-zine to get your free online inspiration and more tips like these!
Stress can lead to all sorts of diseases and take away your physical ability to do the things you love. It can also challenge your inner calmness, and take away your perception of reality. Take it from me, it's not worth it. Your family needs you more than you know, and so do your friends and colleagues etc. The good news is you can lessen your daily stressors. Here's how to start...
KERRIE'S SELF-CARE TIP #1:
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND SEE A DOCTOR
Add these words to your daily life: "Be aware, implement self-care." It's so important at any age. Whether you write them on the bathroom mirror, in a journal, or on a sticky note and post on your dashboard of the car.
I remember back in 2013 when I ignored the warning signs and what my body was telling me. I chalked it up to normal holiday stress and every day living. You too may think that those aches and pains are normal monthly or daily trivial results of life, however if you experience a massive migraine for two weeks straight, you've got to realize that's not normal.
Of course I'm not a doctor, but I can speak about what happened to me and how I ended up having a heart procedure at the age of 39. I know all too well that nagging pressure on my chest and around to my back, and my constant headaches were sure signs something was up.
Four years later, I finally understand why I should have gone to the doctor immediately.
But life got in the way. Who has time for a heart attack?
So my advice is if you feel anything unusual or long-lasting, or you're overwhelmed at work or home, see a professional. Perhaps taking a personal day from work could be the best thing you do to refresh and catch up on some "me" time.
Please know that asking for help or admitting you need some time to yourself is not a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength.
In fact, we have to start thinking differently. We could be young, in shape, in great spirits, or maybe even just young at heart; but this doesn't always stop our bodies from deciding to take the lead in a health trauma situation. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.
Ever since my book My Heart, My Self was released in October, I've received many messages from women I don't know telling me how much they appreciate the advice to seek help. Some were even inspired enough to make an appointment with their GP or talk to their teen daughters about the detrimental impact that stress can have on the body. Take it from me, listening to your body and being aware at all times is critical to your health. And health leads to lifestyle happiness.
Remember, if you do talk to a doctor and it ends up being nothing, and they give you the "all clear", those very words might at the very least alleviate some weight on your shoulders. And you might even feel better.
Since moving to Denver from Toronto, Canada, I've felt an undeniable urge to explore different ways of self-discovery and get out of my comfort zone. From mind-body-spirit expos, to spiritual healing workshops in the mountains, to talking to a group of women while surrounded by horses. Maybe there's something about Colorado that instills change at this high altitude, or maybe it's just another step toward my evolution into the person I am meant to become. Either way, I have found myself being more adventurous and more open. It's amazing.
I've always heard that horses had unique energies and offer healing. So last weekend I decided to try something new when I saw an intriguing invitation to discuss the topic of "Striving Through Stress" while healing with horses. As a writer and speaker for many years, I have talked to various groups on ways to deal with stress from both a personal and professional perspective--especially with respect to the events that led up to my personal heart-health experience. I have always been a firm believer that we all need to be aware of our daily stressors and learn to recognize them before things get worse. I am living proof that if it can happen to me, it can happen to you.
(Watch out for my upcoming book that delves more into these specifics coming late Summer).
I was never around horses much growing up even though my sister co-owned one as a teen and worked on several horse farms. But this horse healing adventure was calling to me (like all of the other events that I've gone to here in Denver) so I had to go and I'm glad I did.
The scenery was so serene and peaceful. A horse farm just outside the city. We sat underneath a beautiful tree in our sun chairs while the horses grazed in the grass around us; not knowing the other women or how we'd all end up sharing a special bond in a couple of hours.
I felt a bit uneasy at first as I was not used to horses being so close, but I felt most of the fear as my stories unfolded in front of strangers. However I felt rejuvenated at the same time. The horses have an amazing sense of calmness in their own setting and around people. We just have to be open to the calmness. Every time we shared something that was on our mind, the horses would either move closer to us or glance our way. This was their way of showing compassion and understanding. The horses instinctively know when we need consoling, acceptance, or a sign that everything will be okay. I thought that was nothing less than magical.
Some other things I learned from being around the horses that may help you:
1. You are never too young, too old, too inexperienced, too afraid, or too broken to receive love and support from people you don't know, or animals who may also feel your pain.
2. Our fears come out in different ways and so do our emotions. We must push passed them in order to heal and rise above. We all grow in our own time.
3. We often feel that everyone around us has changed, and that's what makes us confused and in a rut. But look in the mirror. It's most likely you that has changed. So learn how to agree to disagree and move on.
4. Forgiveness is the root to love and growth. We must learn to forgive and accept what may just be. You can't change others; they have to want to change themselves. You can only work on you because you are the one that has the power to alter your very existence and in return, our vibrations with others will eventually change.
Thank you beautiful creatures. I hope to join you again soon. Namaste.
Yours in health, Kerrie
There's been a lot going on behind-the-scenes over the last several months. I'm happy. I'm anxious. I'm proud. I'm sad. I'm scared to death. I'm elated. Either way, I'm busy. Sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole and let my passions pass over me like a gust of wind. Just like most of my experiences that I hold onto as harsh life lessons.
As a professional writer I drown my sorrows, my triumphs and my excitement in words. It's what I do and it's what I do best. I love writing because the paper (or computer) doesn't have an opinion whether my words are good enough. My journal doesn't shout back at me, and my letters don't hold judgement. Not that I'm opposed to people's views of my work or what I create. There's just a sense of peace in what I do because it's done mostly in silence. Just like running or walking or hiking. You can choose to listen to music but there's something about being one with yourself in the moment.
In nature or in the light. The world of writing is my nature. Creativity is natural.
My pen is the wand and my mind is the magic that reveals my fantasy and reality. I do it on my own and I wait for no one to respond. However, this next venture will bring the old me out of my grave. I am about to embark on a new way of thinking--a public forum for my writing again and no one to blame but myself. My writing. My story, My vulnerability. My faith in me. Everything will soon be there for others to reflect and unwind. My hope is to release a book that will help others examine their own lives, not mine. I am open to it all and look forward to getting it off my shoulders. The words I have been playing with for so many years will be coming out shortly and I hope you join in the dance. The old will seem new again and brought to life. I can't wait to share it with you. Kerrie
Over the past several months I have been trying to find my truth. Just as I'm sure a lot of you have been questioning why you are here and what your next move should be, I have been struggling through my own personal journey. Call it a shift, an enlightenment, or an awakening of sorts; it is happening to a lot of us. Maybe some things in your life have changed for the better or maybe you are going through the hardest time of your life. I am there with you. Both have happened to me too. However, one thing that has finally come to fruition after a lot of soul-searching and hours on the computer is that I finally finished my book manuscript (which has now gone to the editing stage!) Talk about a labor of love. I am very proud to have pushed through the hours to get to where it is now, but I know there is still a lot of work to do. This shift I am referring to has helped me realize that what I am doing is meant to be. At times I questioned whether my efforts would be worth it in the end. I often asked myself if the emotional struggle of revealing my vulnerabilities would help anyone. And I've had to do a lot of work to get to a point where I could say, "Yes I know it will make a difference."
Here Are 5 Keys To Finding Your Truth:
1. Don't dwell on the negatives. We all have struggles but we learn from them and move on.
2. Continue to follow your passion no matter what people say because it will change YOU.
3. Ask yourself "how" instead of "why" and appreciate the process. Be patient.
4. Recognize where you are and let your truth shine through your work. Results will come.
5. Focus on being aware. Know that your struggle will help and above all, stay true to you.
A lot has changed over the last 12 months for me and my family. With the loss of my mom and mother-in-law and moving to a new country, I've had to work through some pretty stressful times. It's pushed me to look deep inside and figure out who I am, how strong I can be, and what I'm meant to do next. Today I try to live in the moment and appreciate all that I have in my life. There are no guarantees, but I know I am where I am meant to be.
I've learned a lot. I know now that I'm being tested by something larger than anything I can ever describe. Until now I've chalked up our move to the Mile High City for my husband's job (which was the logistical reason obviously), but now I see that this move serves a larger purpose. Every day I learn more about my path, what my next steps are personally and professionally, and how I can contribute to my family and the community in ways that are new and raw. I'm sure a lot of women can relate to what I am saying.
We all go through change and challenge in our lifetime and we grow as a result. Even the hard times teach us something. Change and challenge may have torn me down but they have taught me valuable lessons. I've become stronger spiritually and emotionally; and I know my journey will continue to bring me answers about my life manifesto.
I invite you to think about where you are right now on your journey and how change has helped you become stronger. Journal about it and perhaps start your entry with something like "I have changed as a result of my journey because..." Often it's the tough times that enable us to make a difference in some way. Maybe the difference you're making isn't something tangible or a physical change, but perhaps it's in YOU to find out and reveal to others. xo
Kerrie Lee Brown is a sought-after health and lifestyle expert. She writes books, blogs and articles and is published all over the world. Kerrie Lee is also a heart-health survivor and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows sharing life-saving tips for women on how to listen to their bodies and slow down. Kerrie Lee is a mom and proud Canadian living in Denver, Colorado.