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Blog – Ground One Coaching
From:
Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R) Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Rockville , MD
Sunday, March 01, 2020

 
Blog – Ground One Coachinghttps://groundonecoaching.comTue, 19 Nov 2019 21:22:32 +0000en-UShourly 1 https://i2.wp.com/groundonecoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cropped-logoonly.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1Blog – Ground One Coachinghttps://groundonecoaching.com323243129136 5 Tips for the Sandwich Generation to Cope With Caregiver Stresshttps://groundonecoaching.com/5-tips-for-the-sandwich-generation-to-cope-with-caregiver-stress/Tue, 26 Nov 2019 15:00:41 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=2053The “sandwich generation,” caregivers who are wedged between raising children and taking care of senior parents, is increasing in size as baby boomers stand on the cusp of old age. While there are many positives about multi-generational families sharing life under the same roof, caring for young children, as well as a parent with chronic…

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The “sandwich generation,” caregivers who are wedged between raising children and taking care of senior parents, is increasing in size as baby boomers stand on the cusp of old age. While there are many positives about multi-generational families sharing life under the same roof, caring for young children, as well as a parent with chronic illness, presents a number of challenges.

For some, it is like being caught between a rock and a hard place. In addition to getting children to and from school, preparing meals, and perhaps holding down a full-time job, there are numerous medical appointments (for old and young). You need to remember medication times, and shop for a mom and/or dad unable to do these tasks by themselves. Not to mention the worry….

I know because I’ve been there.

I was one of those sandwiched—spread thin, overwhelmed, and taking care of everyone’s needs but my own. I had my kids at 37 and 40, and my parents died when I was 42 and 44.  It was a crazy time. My mom had Parkinsonian dementia, my dad suffered a stroke, then a hemorrhage and sepsis (twice). My kids were 5 and 2. We lived in Maryland, and my parents’ in South Carolina. I was spending a week each month with my parents, driving 10 hours there, 10 hours back, to catch up on my writing work and my kids’ needs. In the midst of all this, my husband was remarkable, filling in most gaps. Even so, I was sleep-deprived and struggling to keep all the balls I was trying to juggle airborne.

When my father passed right before 9/11/2001, things became even more complicated. I had to decide about resuscitation a couple days’ before my daughter’s second birthday. He died while I was home throwing her first birthday party. Then I had to decide if my mother needed to be closer to us, or if, as my husband put it, “she’d die without her sweet tea.” All the while, our family faced the trauma brought on by the anthrax scare and the DC snipers. (The first person shot was a mile from my home.) My mother made her own final decision, dying 23 months after my father from flu complications.

I learned a lot through these experiences, but I’d never wish it on anyone. Without my husband’s support and a little self-care, I might not have survived it either. I was (and am) a cancer survivor myself, having healed from melanoma in 1999. Here’s what I’d recommend if you’re facing a similar situation or find yourself sandwiched.

Tips for Coping With Caregiver Stress

  1. Make yourself a priority.

 “We must never become too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw,” the late Dr. Stephen R. Covey advised. This is a perfect description of life as a caregiver. Do you saw away daily to get through a pile of tasks, only to work twice as hard at it because the blade is dull? I can hear you sigh with heaviness in your voice, “I don’t have the time or energy to do things for myself. I have too much responsibility.” Making yourself a priority doesn’t mean taking a trip to the Bahamas or wining and dining nightly. And it doesn’t mean ignoring your loved one’s needs while you pamper yourself.

Make yourself a priority can fit easily within the context of your situation. Practice good nutritional habits and take advantage of moments when you can lie down on the sofa for a few minutes here and there.  Join a local or online support group for caregivers. You’ll able to connect with others in similar situations who have empathy and wisdom to offer. Take a brisk walk around your yard or on a treadmill if you’re unable to leave the house for more than a few minutes. It seems contradictory, but exercise is the antidote for fatigue, and it’s good for your health and mood.

  1. Get help.

Make arrangements with family members—spouse, tweens, and teens—to take on more responsibilities around the house. Even preschoolers can help a little. For instance, ask your children to do their own laundry, run household errands, and make some of the meals so you can have a few nights off. If this isn’t an option, hire someone to come in once a month to deep-clean the bathrooms and do the vacuuming. Look at your budget and see where you can fit in paying for a little extra help.

Look into adult daycare for a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Scout for local agencies and support groups that may be available to assist with financial, medical, and other needs. If you belong to a church, synagogue, or other faith community, find out if they offer programs for either your parent or your young children a few hours a week.

  1. Set realistic expectations for yourself and those you are caring for. 

It may have been easier to stay on top of responsibilities when you were single and taking care of yourself only. But that was then and this is now. Don’t expect yourself to be able to keep a spotless house or have everything organized when you are taking care of young children or aging parents. I’m still sorting the closet clutter accumulated in those days, and I’m not ashamed of it. Be kind to yourself and decide what things it’s okay to let go of. You really don’t need to “do it all.” Learn to prioritize.

  1. Retain (or develop) a sense of humor. 

Laughter has many short and long-term benefits.  It eases stress, lifts moods, and relieves pain. It also boosts the immune system, stimulates internal organs, and helps relax you. Find positive things to laugh about. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself when you make a mild blunder. I once put my purse in the frig. I know someone who mistook salt for sugar in a recipe. So what if you’re accidentally wearing your shirt inside out? Watch a sitcom, read a joke book, share a laugh with a friend. Find ways to be light-hearted.

     5. Start a gratitude journal.

Gratitude—being appreciative for the good things in your life—is not only a nice idea, but has positive effects on your brain.  It activates the regions associated with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in mental health. It stimulates the rewards and reinforcement part of the brain, which boosts feelings of pleasure and well-being.

Develop a daily habit of writing down the things you are grateful for. The results won’t come overnight. But persistence will train your brain to focus on the positive. That in turn will help elevate your mood and improve your mental health.

Looking back, you may find that this period of time was the most difficult in your life. I know it was for me. It isn’t easy being sandwiched between children living at home and having to take care of a parent. Yet, along with the hardship comes special moments to be treasured: your baby’s first steps, your child’s high school graduation, or sharing your parents’ memories. You’ll also always have the satisfaction of knowing you were there for your parents in their final months or years. Putting these tips into practice will help you not only cope with caregiver stress, but thrive in your circumstances.

I’ve been where you are, and I can help. My sandwiched time is one of the things that led me to the last decade of coaching women. Here’s how you can contact me.

While you’re there, you might want to look around my site at my story and see if it’s similar to yours. Take a look at my blog, too. I’ll be posting more about the sandwich generation soon.

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6 More Good Parenting Topics To Discuss Before Your Baby Is Bornhttps://groundonecoaching.com/6-more-good-parenting-topics-to-discuss-before-your-baby-is-born/Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:00:47 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=1993In my last parenting article, we looked at type of delivery, sleeping arrangements, breast  vs. bottle feeding, responsibilities, childcare, and circumcision. This time, we’ll cover 6 more good parenting topics to discuss before your baby is born. You might have put these issues on hold or may not have given them much thought, yet if a…

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In my last parenting article, we looked at type of delivery, sleeping arrangements, breast  vs. bottle feeding, responsibilities, childcare, and circumcision. This time, we’ll cover 6 more good parenting topics to discuss before your baby is born. You might have put these issues on hold or may not have given them much thought, yet if a couple is not in agreement on the important issues early in a pregnancy, they can end in arguments later.

Come on now. Wouldn’t you rather negotiate when you’re not sleep-deprived?

What religion, if any, will you raise your child in?

Parents’ beliefs are near and dear to their hearts whether they consider themselves to be theists or not. However, they can still come to an agreement and honor it as children join their family. There needn’t be strife. It isn’t harmful to raise children in a home where two different belief systems are in place. What is harmful:  an atmosphere of criticism and disrespect for one another’s views. We now live in an age where interracial, multicultural, and interfaith marriages abound. Strong, healthy, and successful interfaith marriages are ones in which parents practice love, acceptance, and
cooperation.

A person’s faith my wax or wane over the years, and what worked when you were newlyweds may not work later on in your marriage. Adapt and remain flexible to keep your marriage and family strong. Be open and honest with your children; don’t avoid questions or family discussions. Don’t force a child to take sides or choose one belief over another. Cooperation and mutual support make a world of difference!

Ultimately, as your children grow, they will develop their own beliefs, and as adults will make their own decisions about religion, spirituality, faith, and practice. The best gift you can give them is a safe and loving home life where the most meaningful traditions of either or both religions are practiced and honored.

How will discipline be handled?

It won’t take long before that first two-year-old “No!” or the public meltdown of your three-year old in a grocery store shocks the senses of mom or dad. How you react will be in part how you were raised as a child. If one of you comes from a home where parents were strict, while the other was raised by permissive or less-involved parents, conflict is sure to happen.

It isn’t necessary for both parents to have the same parenting style or use the same approach. Set Consistent, clear expectations, and follow through with your word. Do your best not to sabotage each other. As long as there is no abuse, support your spouse’s decision and discuss it privately later. It’s far better to back your spouse up when s/he makes a judgment call on consequences for your child’s misbehavior than it is to undermine the decision or get into a disagreement in front of your child.

Harvard Medical School psychologist Dr. Lawrence Kutner recommends that spouses take parenting classes together. My husband and I took specialized parenting classes for our children with differences, including adoptive parenting classes. Doing so will give you a shared knowledge-base from which to draw on when it comes to approaches to discipline. Yet rely on your own intuition sometimes, too, because your child, like every child, is unique. Their needs are different, so your disciplinary approach needs to be different, too.

Public, private, or home school?

With so many educational choices and opportunities available the subject is worth discussing long before your child is ready to start. Discuss the options with your partner. You might consider preparing to move, depending on where you want your child to go to school. If you both want to go the private school route, you can begin setting aside a nest egg so by the time your child is old enough to be enrolled you will be able to offset
the expense.

If one of you is a proponent of public school and the other is a home schooling fan, some compromises will need to be made. Talking about it now, a few years before having to implement that decision, will give you both time to consider the advantages and disadvantages of either.

Do you have dietary preferences or differences?

This may not seem like a big deal, but it might have been our biggest challenge. We all had different food sensitivities, and I felt like a short order cook much of the time. Getting their orders filled on demand created disciplinary challenges. Perhaps one of you is committed to veganism or eating vegetarian while your partner is an avid meat-eater. Even if you are both united on a vegetarian lifestyle, how will you handle things when your child spends the night at a friend’s house or attends birthday parties or other meal events away from home? When his friend at preschool says “yuck” to everything in her lunch box? Make sure you have a plan in place in advance of the situations you and your child are sure to face.

How will you continue or create traditions?

Traditions can create lasting memories and stronger family bonds. Holiday traditions are most obvious, but you’ll create others: telling bedtime stories, creating special meals together, keeping gratitude journals, annual summer vacations, weekend campouts…the list goes on! You’ll tailor-make your own.

Decide early on in marriage or pregnancy what traditions you would like to carry on from your families of origin and which of your own you want to create. There is so much value for children to inherit beautiful or important traditions from both sides of the family.

Discuss ways to keep your marriage vibrant.

It’s exciting to go from being a couple to being a family! It’s also exhausting. You have less time together alone, less energy, and less discretionary income. You used to be able to leave the house on a whim, but now it takes planning and preparation to go out for an ice cream cone. Yet now more than ever, your relationship needs tender loving care to maintain given the demands of parenting. Have a plan in place before your baby arrives. Will you go on weekly or regular “dates” with your partner? Who will watch the baby while you’re out for the evening? How will you help each other feel cared for, respected, and valued in spite of having less time to focus on one another? These plans are even more important if you live far away from your families, and all support will be paid support.

You’ve prepared for baby as best as you can with all the supplies and equipment needed to keep him or her safe and secure. What better way to prepare your home for the emotional well-being of your child than to discuss the important issues and come to agreements before that precious one arrives!

Kathryn Ramsperger’s been there! She has two 20-something children. Her son had brain surgery at 10 months. He’s a fine economist and linguist now but remains dyslexic. Her daughter, adopted from China, had adoptive challenges and ADHD. Plus both kids were gifted! If you need someone to help you plan, or just someone to lean on, she’s there for you. You can reach her for a get-to-know-me session here. 

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5 Keys To Increasing Self-Esteem And Self-Confidencehttps://groundonecoaching.com/5-keys-to-increasing-self-esteem-and-self-confidence/Wed, 13 Nov 2019 14:32:06 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=2026Self-esteem and self-confidence aren’t synonyms. Though a connection exists between them, they’re different. Esteem has to do with how we see ourselves in terms of worth and self-love. Confidence is how we feel about our ability to perform. Someone can have great confidence in their abilities and yet think very little of themselves, while someone…

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Self-esteem and self-confidence aren’t synonyms. Though a connection exists between them, they’re different. Esteem has to do with how we see ourselves in terms of worth and self-love. Confidence is how we feel about our ability to perform. Someone can have great confidence in their abilities and yet think very little of themselves, while someone else may have a healthy view of themselves and not feel confident about accomplishing a particular task successfully. Both are critical components of our general well-being. Here are five keys to increasing self-esteem and self-confidence.

Realize your worth.

It’s not dependent on what you can achieve or accomplish. You have worth and value simply because you are a unique human being, one of a kind! No one has the exact same personality traits, physical characteristics, and abilities that you have. When you understand that you have value
regardless of ability, you are then free to try new things and develop the skills and talents that are important to you.

Know who you are.

You are not your parents, caregivers, teachers, or best friend. Of course, those closest to us influenced us the most as kids, but
each person has free will—the opportunity to make of themselves what and who they want to be. We’re not doomed or destined to walk the same path of someone who’s gone before us. Learn to appreciate the good things from your upbringing, and discard the unhealthy or destructive ones. You can choose the habits, traditions, and qualities that you want to carry into your own life.

Some people tie social status, economic level, or educational achievement to their self-esteem, yet our finances, education, and social standing don’t define us or make us important.  The more you are able to comprehend that truth, the more you will be at peace with yourself and those around you.

See yourself as a human-being, not as a human-doing.

This tip will increase our self-esteem, which leads to greater self-confidence. We can separate what we do from who we are. For example, a first-year piano student is less likely to take things personally if they miss a note during a performance than a seasoned musician whose identity is wrapped up in being a concert pianist. “A self-confident person is ready to rise to new challenges, seize opportunities, deal with difficult situations, and take responsibility if and when things go awry.”

The self-confident person realizes that “stuff happens” from time to time. While we may be disappointed or even upset about it, we don’t think less of ourselves if we stand in our confidence. Instead, we learn from our experiences and press forward.

Take care of yourself.

We hear a lot about the importance of self-care, and for good reason. When we take care of our bodes through good eating habits, exercise, and
personal appearance and hygiene, it really does wonders for the way we feel about ourselves and can give us a measure of confidence.
Picture going to an important job interview. Notice the difference in how you might feel if you were to go in jeans and a tank-top versus going in slacks and a dress shirt or blouse. We cannot build our esteem on appearance, but that does not negate the importance of taking care of our bodies and the way we present ourselves to the world.

Think of how much better you performed in that meeting when you got enough sleep and a nutritious breakfast. Now remember how well you did when you had been up all night, or had a hangover, or got a cold because you worked all hours. (That last one is my challenge!)

Be patient with yourself and others.

Self-esteem and self-confidence are not characteristics that one either has or does not have. Both develop over time and experience. Sadly, we’re not all from nurturing backgrounds. Yet even with this disadvantage we can overcome! Humans are resilient, and we have the ability to break free of negative thought patterns and emotional trauma. We just need to be aware of how much strength lies within us.

Emotional healing and growth does not happen overnight. Sometimes we can do it on our own. Other times we need help. Learning to develop positive ways of thinking and replacing self-doubt with self-confidence is an act of courage. And often we must act the part before we become the part.

“I don’t possess a lot of self-confidence. I’m an actor so I simply act confident every time I hit the stage,” Arsenio Hall once quipped.

Ever heard of “muscle memory”? Our muscles can reproduce a particular movement without conscious thought because of frequent repetition. Likewise, we can develop a type of “esteem memory.” Affirming our worth and appreciating our strengths can become second nature to us. So stop being so hard on yourself, and be happy. Self-criticism contradicts both esteem and confidence, and can lead to feelings of lack. Nurturing self-esteem and self-confidence leads to greater happiness in our lives.

Kathryn Ramsperger helps authors and other creative people get over anxiety, dissolve blocks, increase their self-confidence, build on success, and love themselves and their work. Get in touch for a brief discovery session here. 

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6 Good Parenting Topics To Discuss With Your Partner Before Your Baby Is Bornhttps://groundonecoaching.com/6-good-parenting-topics-to-discuss-with-your-partner-before-your-baby-is-born/Sun, 22 Sep 2019 18:59:07 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=1998You just received the exciting news! You’ll no longer be a couple, but soon a family! Walking down the baby aisle of your local department store is now part of your shopping routine. Yet as important as it is to choose the best car seat, crib, and high chair, there are other issues to consider…

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You just received the exciting news! You’ll no longer be a couple, but soon a family! Walking down the baby aisle of your local department store is now part of your shopping routine. Yet as important as it is to choose the best car seat, crib, and high chair, there are other issues to consider as well. Here are six good parenting topics to discuss with your partner before your baby is born.

What kind of delivery do you want?

Do you want a “natural” birth with minimal technological or medical intervention, including using breathing and relaxation techniques rather than pain medication? Are you planning on having an epidural block or other anesthetics and analgesics for pain? Depending on risk and health factors, you may opt for something other than a traditional hospital birth. Alternatives that some couples consider are birthing centers and home birth. Make the earliest possible decision between a birthing center, certified nurse midwife, or an obstetrician, after you, your partner, and your obstetrician assess yours and the baby’s risk factors. Check your insurance as well, to see what is covered and what isn’t.

Where will your baby sleep?

Who would have thought the sleeping arrangements could threaten your baby? Although it’s convenient to have baby in bed with you all night, especially if you are breastfeeding and exhausted, baby is safest in his or her own bassinet, cradle, or crib near a parent’s bed. Room-sharing, rather than bed-sharing, is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Baby sleeping in mom’s and dad’s bed presents safety concerns, primarily that of suffocation from pillows or soft bedding, or the parent rolling over onto their child during their sleep. In the early weeks and months of baby’s life, room-sharing with parents keeps baby close enough to be cared for, comforted, and watched over during the night. Another benefit is that mom or dad doesn’t have to trudge up the hall to another room and then try to get back to sleep several times a night.

Will you breastfeed or bottlefeed? Or both?

Discuss this issue with sensitivity and understanding. Those in favor of breastfeeding point to the numerous health and nutritional advantages for the baby and the psychological benefits that come from the special bond between mother and infant. Yet a small percentage of women are unable to breastfeed for medical reasons (that was me, twice). New mothers may have insufficient milk supply, physical or psychological illness, or current medications that are unsafe for baby. I had an infection and had to have a strong antibiotic that would have harmed my son.  I’d had a lumpectomy in my left breast, and the scar tissue blocked what little milk supply there was. If you introduce a bottle full of breastmilk early, your baby may not “latch” on as easily, yet it can involve your partner, especially if you become ill or sleep-deprived. Strive for balance, and remember that your baby may help you make a daily decision.

A mother needs to make her own decision and have the support of her partner regardless of what she chooses to do.

How will responsibilities be shared?

There is no right way and wrong way. Decide on what satisfies both of you, use compromise, and exercise flexibility. Who will feed the baby during the night? If you’re breastfeeding, will you use a breast pump to express milk into bottles so your partner can take turns with nighttime feeding? What about diaper changes? Taking out the garbage daily (or more)? Mopping up baby messes? Who will be the primary diaper-changer and bath-giver? It can be overwhelming for one person to tackle all these things alone while taking care of an infant’s constant need for closeness and nurturing. Especially if both parents are working. Decide who will take care of what, and be flexible enough to change routines if necessary.

Stay at home parenting or child care?

Sit down and look at your family budget alongside your beliefs and values.  Some couples find it helpful to make a list of these things. Some couples choose for mom to stay home while dad provides the living. This traditional approach may be more difficult in today’s economy than it was decades ago. Others opt for a stay-at-home dad. Both parents may need to work outside the home. If this issue is not settled long before baby arrives, it will add stress to your relationship at a time when intimacy and understanding is most important. Remember: Nothing lasts forever. Whatever you decide, you may find yourself reconsidering it. Don’t beat yourself up. Remain flexible through each stage of your child’s development. You may find that your child is fine being separated from you at age 3 but needs you at home at age 12. Or vice versa.

Will you have your son circumcised?

I cried about this decision for a week, but in the end, his dad won. The reasons to circumcise your baby boy or to forgo the procedure has pros and cons on either side. Some parents choose for their son to “look like daddy,” so if dad is circumcised, baby will be too. If not, then baby will not undergo the procedure. Some couples choose circumcision for their sons because of religious tradition or practice. Since fathers may have stronger feelings due to their personal identities, it may be wise to let dad have the final say! Yet he must yield to you in some other areas you feel strongly about.

No matter what you’re planning for your new little one, don’t assume you will both be on the same page. Background, upbringing, personal preferences and beliefs all shape how a person feels about these issues. Be sensitive, open, and understanding with each other. Decide right from the start that you both want what’s best for baby. Decide which traditions to bring from your families of origin and which traditions you wish to begin  yourselves. Talk through the issues beforehand and come to an agreement on them. Mutual decision-making will keep your relationship strong and healthy when baby arrives! And baby will thrive as a result.

Kathryn Ramsperger has somehow raised two children who made it to their 20s! If you need advice on parenting, especially parenting children with differences, get in touch for a complimentary get-to-know-you session.

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How Can We Boost Creativity On Demand?https://groundonecoaching.com/how-can-we-boost-creativity-on-demand/Mon, 29 Jul 2019 18:10:50 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=1932Creativity is one of those life forces that ebbs and flows like the tides. High tide can be beautiful and forceful, but it doesn’t last all day. It gradually gives way to gentle waves. We would love creativity to flow through us like a steady river, yet it seems artists, writers, musicians, and creative types…

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Creativity is one of those life forces that ebbs and flows like the tides. High tide can be beautiful and forceful, but it doesn’t last all day. It gradually gives way to gentle waves. We would love creativity to flow through us like a steady river, yet it seems artists, writers, musicians, and creative types often must wait until—like high tide—creativity carries us. We rush to grab our pens, canvas, or instrument before the moment passes. Does it have to be this way? How can we boost creativity on demand? Is it even possible?

Well, not always. But often. We can make our inner creativity more accessible when we need it. It takes preparation, but once the groundwork is laid, those large waves of imagination we hope for can be at our fingertips. First, we need to surround ourselves with the right tools and conditions that inspire us and get the ideas flowing.

Focus on these 3 areas and see if they give you a boost in creativity on demand:

Area 1: To Be

Be curious.

If, for example, you see a hummingbird out the window, instead of thinking,“That’s nice,” and going back to your previous activity without giving it another thought, take a few minutes to watch it. What can you observe? Take notes. Snap a photo. Get online and look up facts about hummingbirds–or maybe hummingbird as a symbol–and discover something. Curiosity opens our minds to new ways of thinking.

Be uncomfortable.

Stay willing to step outside your comfort zone to develop and strengthen your mental and emotional flexibility. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to (someone with views other than your own) to gain greater perspective. You may not change your beliefs about a topic or person, but you’ll gain insights into why others are the way they are. It’s not only good for your mind, it’s good for your personal growth.

Area 2: To Do

Exercise.

Yes, the dreaded “E” word. Yet exercise does not have to be strenuous or time-consuming. Just move regularly, daily or even hourly. A stroll around your yard or apartment complex, a few trips up and down the stairs, or 20 jumping jacks stimulate your body and mind. Getting your heart pumping faster increases the oxygen to your brain, and that can lead to new and innovative ideas.

Change up your routine.

Are you right-handed or left-handed? Try eating, writing, or drawing with your non-dominant hand. Do you always take the same route to work,
school, the grocery store, or gym? Take a new way to and from a place you regularly go. A change in habit wakes up the brain.

Area 3: To Have.

Have Tools.

Keep all the tools you need close at hand. If you’re an artist, keep a sketch pad and your favorite medium near your desk and in your car’s glove box, backpack, or purse. Do you compose music? Make sure there is music manuscript paper and a sharpened pencil by the instrument you play. If you keep the tools of your craft on hand, you won’t have to spend time gathering what you need; you’ll have everything at your fingertips
when the high tide of ideas start to flow.

Have a creative mindset.

Creativity is more mindset than skill. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Humans are born with creative ability; it’s how we learn our native language—or several languages—and all the necessary strategies to talk, walk, run, ride a bike, and tie our shoes. Think about it: How many times have you run up against a problem at home, work, or school and figured out a way to solve it? Resourceful problem-solving is a form of creativity.

Once we grasp the truth that creativity can be learned, a world of possibilities opens up! The brain is a remarkable organ. We can transform and strengthen its neuroplasticity at any age. In a government study on training the brain to be more creative, it was found that both “functional and structural changes [are induced] by divergent thinking.

So, is creativity on demand a myth? Fact or fiction, truth or reality? The truth is that the more we flex our creativity muscles and create an environment at home or work that is conducive to the ebb and flow of our imagination, the greater will be our ability to tap into it whenever the need arises. There’s little magic in that. It’s scientific. Creativity takes practice, and practice makes progress.

Try it, and let me know if you enjoy it or find yourself with more ideas or more work finished. I’m always available to chat about ways to become more creative.

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Why Depression and Intuition Don’t Work Well Togetherhttps://groundonecoaching.com/why-depression-and-intuition-dont-work-well-together/Mon, 01 Jul 2019 18:09:41 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=1926Let me tell you a secret.  Don’t trust your gut when you’re feeling out of sorts without getting to a more positive outlook first. And never trust your instincts when you’re clinically anxious or depressed. Here’s why depression and intuition don’t work well together. I’ll start with a real-life example. Even coaches have moods, and…

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Let me tell you a secret.  Don’t trust your gut when you’re feeling out of sorts without getting to a more positive outlook first. And never trust your instincts when you’re clinically anxious or depressed. Here’s why depression and intuition don’t work well together.

I’ll start with a real-life example. Even coaches have moods, and last month I was in one. It didn’t help when the nurse at my doctor’s office said I’d lost more than an inch in height. I burst into tears, totally believing her because of the space I was in. I was detoxing, physically and mentally. Later, my doctor confided the machine was broken. Yet because I’d entered the office feeling kind of down because of my negative thoughts about aging–the new crease on my forehead, my fuzzier eyesight, and my supposedly slower brain–I didn’t believe my doctor. At first. I used the month of June to change my thoughts using my coaching processes. Yet it reminded me that your intuition only works well if you’re calm, centered, and feeling positive.

Your intuition isn’t your imagination.

If you have a vivid imagination (like me), you can imagine all sorts of outcomes to a situation–everything from the perfect scenario to the most negative. Your imagination can be filled with chaos if you don’t learn to tame it. Even once you do, it will always try to give you every possible scenario once in a while if you’re stressed. So you have to calm it down. It’s just trying to protect you from harm, as it’s done with every human since time began. My processes teach you to tame your imagination so you can hear your intuition.

Intuition isn’t your thought process either.

Worrying or ruminating doesn’t get you to a solution. It just creates more angst, even chaos and overwhelm. Making a logical list of pros and cons can work, but not if you’re not listening to your innermost desires, too. To get to your intuition, you must quiet your mind as much as possible, be calm in the moment, and feel into a given question or situation, then trust what comes up. Often depressed people can’t get to this point. They are either too anxious to sit still or too depressed to trust their first thought. They question themselves, doubt their judgment, wondering if that twinge was a sign or simply their stomach growling for lunch. That sort of thing.

Your gut is connected to your brain.

This is something that has new research behind it. Scientists now call our gut our second brain. The gut microbiome (ie, the bacteria in your gut) influences the body’s level of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates feelings of happiness. If your gut is unhealthy, you can’t expect your brain to rise above the bacteria and make intuitive, or even logical, decisions.

When your gut isn’t working your brain isn’t functioning well either.

And vice versa.  “Both intuition and emotional reasoning have in common that they are influenced by affect….” according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health. That means our mood affects both our hunches and or reasoning ability. Therefore, our mood needs to be at a higher vibration for them both to work.

So trusting your gut doesn’t work when your mood level is off.

In a recent study, researchers found that the decision-making abilities of a positive or neutral mood group were relatively unaffected by their moods, while an anxious group showed a significantly reduced ability to use their intuition. So trusting your intuition when you’re depressed is like me trusting the nurse with the broken machine, and then also believing all the negative thoughts that came after.

So where do you go from here?

First, figure out if your gut bacteria might be the problem. Ask your doctor for help and lab tests.

  1. Then test your intuition once a week until you can “feel” it talking to you again, as your gut heals.
  2. Sit quietly, meditate if possible, and then ask a question.
  3. Write down the first thing that pops in your “mind.”
  4. Feel that thought. Is it expansive or contractive?
  5. Intuition is more subtle than panic or chaotic thoughts.

Intuition comes from your body, not your brain. You feel it. You don’t think it.

If you’re analyzing a decision, you’re not listening to your gut.

My intuition comes from that resting place in my heart center or chakra. But you can feel it anywhere in your body.

Gradually, you should be able to find and trust your intuition again. As you do, you’ll feel yourself calmer, more empowered. The Invision Process and my process to restore your Creativity both help you regain access to your intuition, and help you make decisions with both your consciousness and your subsconscious, all the while removing blocks preventing your movement forward.

You may be in a fog right now, but I can help you get through the fog one step at a time. Stop suffering, get unstuck, and contact me for a free, no obligation session to see if my intuitive coaching is a fit for you. Stop listening to an unhealthy gut and a slow, negative brain, and take a chance on yourself and your future. Feel free to contact me with questions, too, either here or on social media, and I’ll write more blogs about how to find your intuition, trust your gut, and feed your soul.

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The 5 Key Steps To Healing From Divorcehttps://groundonecoaching.com/the-5-key-steps-to-healing-from-divorce/Wed, 12 Jun 2019 19:27:44 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=1917Divorce is difficult, even when both spouses want it. And the longer you were married, the more painful it is. You’ve lost a companion, a life partner, and an identity. Add to that the financial impact on your lifestyle, the loss of income, loss of mutual friends, and the emotional toll taken—especially if child custody…

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Divorce is difficult, even when both spouses want it. And the longer you were married, the more painful it is. You’ve lost a companion, a life partner, and an identity. Add to that the financial impact on your lifestyle, the loss of income, loss of mutual friends, and the emotional toll taken—especially if child custody must be worked out. You may wonder if life will ever be “normal” again and if you can ever trust someone with your heart once more. As challenging and distressing as the aftermath of divorce is, know that recovery, healing, and wholeness is possible! Here are five key steps to healing from divorce:

Recognize that you are a person of great value and worth.  

It’s completely natural to feel rejected, unwanted, and undesirable during and after a divorce, particularly if your spouse was the one seeking it. Even if you had some responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship, it doesn’t mean you are irredeemable. A divorce is not a reflection of your worth as a human being.

Accept the divorce and the fact that the marriage is over. 

This is not to say that reconciliations never take place. They do, but they’re rare. “But, it’s reassuring to know that no relationship–at any time–ever really fully ends. Rather it only changes form,” says relationship expert Jennifer Twardowski in a Huffington Post article.

Take the necessary time to grieve, allowing yourself to feel the loss and pain, but don’t stay in that place. Your new reality is life without your ex-spouse. The sooner you can accept it, the quicker your recovery will be. You can’t go back in time and change things that have happened. But you can change the here and now. You can’t control your ex or how he or she treated you, but you can control how you respond. Getting to a place where you can eventually forgive your ex is key. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the other person gets a “free pass”—if there was abuse or infidelity, for example—it means you relinquish your “right” for retaliation. It’s almost impossible to heal and have peace as long as you’re holding onto bitterness and resentment.

Stop hanging onto the past.  

Are you surrounded by reminders of your ex? Then it’s time to make a few changes. If you’re still living in the house you once shared, consider remaking it. A little paint (the color you always wanted but your ex wouldn’t have it), rearranging the furniture, getting new dishes, hanging up inspirational art, replacing your bedspread—these are all little ways in which you can make your home something that expresses your personality and tastes.

Truth is that you’ll never completely forget about your ex,the good times you shared or the bad times you faced. And if you have children, it’s inevitable that your ex will still be in your life to a degree. However, ruminating over what could have been or should have been will only serve to prolong grief, pain, and anger. Discipline yourself to replace bitter thoughts with better thoughts.

Remember: You grew up single, and you thrived.

Do something every day that moves you toward wholeness.

A gratitude journal is great for writing down the things you’re thankful for. If you don’t like the idea of journaling, make a verbal proclamation of what you are grateful for each morning after waking up. Think of the people you’re thankful for and call a different friend or family member every day to say, “I had a few minutes and just wanted to say I’m thinking of you and hope you have a great day!”

Plan activities you can look forward to. If your finances allow it, plan a “date” with yourself or a friend to watch a play, go to a concert or sports event, see a movie, or take a day trip to someplace that you’ve always wanted to go. Start taking music lessons or a class you’re interested in or learn a new language. When you explore new possibilities and step out of your routine, you’ll experience new life and gain fresh confidence in yourself and others.

Go easy on yourself.

Accept that you’re imperfect (along with everyone else) and will make mistakes. It’s okay; that’s part of life and how we grow. Don’t be self-condemning or critical. Wallowing in self-loathing is not healthy; in fact, it’s extremely damaging to your psyche, your emotions, and your relationships. If you have a hard time forgiving yourself and seeing yourself as a person worthy of love and respect, get help! Find a skilled and trusted therapist who can help you walk through depression or self-esteem issues. Many people find solace and healing as they make spiritual connections in a healthy church, synagogue, or other spiritual or religious center.

As you adjust to life as a single, give yourself time to adapt and enjoy your new status. Beware of rushing into a new romantic relationship. It’s important to be in an emotionally healthy place before jumping in again with both feet. Remember: You grew up single and you thrived. Surround yourself with good friends, be willing to change and grow from the experience of divorce, trust that the future will be rewarding and fulfilling and you’ll make great strides in healing and wholeness.

If you’re healing from divorce, loss, or any transition, Kathryn can help you get unstuck and moving forward. If you’d like to chat with her about your relationships, parenting challenges, financial concerns, she’s here for you. Fill out this form for a complimentary no-obligation session.

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Wondering How To Develop Good Parenting Skills? Do These 6 Thingshttps://groundonecoaching.com/wondering-how-to-develop-good-parenting-skills-do-these-6-things/Tue, 28 May 2019 18:09:06 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=1923Raising our children is one of the most complex, challenging, yet rewarding responsibilities we parents will ever have. It’s also the job that is most overlooked and least prepared for. We tend to parent as our own parents did: the good, the bad, and the ugly. So what is the best way to learn how…

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Raising our children is one of the most complex, challenging, yet rewarding responsibilities we parents will ever have. It’s also the job that is most overlooked and least prepared for. We tend to parent as our own parents did: the good, the bad, and the ugly. So what is the best way to learn how to be a good parent? If you’re wondering how to develop good parenting skills, do these 6 things:

1 – Be a learner.

Good parenting is a skill that we can all learn. It comes from watching, asking questions, looking for answers, and then practicing the knowledge gained. Just like learning to play an instrument, a sport, or a new language, skillful parenting takes attention, time, and practice. There are great resources available—some that cost money and others that are free. Take advantage of everything you can!

Look online for the top-rated parenting programs. The best program will be the one that fits your values, personality, and ability to implement the steps and strategies consistently. What’s good for you might not work as well for your neighbor. Ways to engage in learning include classes, videos, books, and mentoring. What we don’t learn there, we can learn from our hands-on experience as we correct our mistakes along the way, earlier rather than latre.

2- Start when your child is young.

Parenting begins the moment your child is born! Think of yourself as a mentor to your little one. You are modeling how adults live and act, in preparation for your child’s entrance into adulthood. Children are learning from infancy onward. They watch how you communicate with others, what is and isn’t acceptable social behavior, and how to handle responsibilities. They are also learning whether or not the world is a “safe” place and if people can be trusted. This is vital to your child’s emotional health and development. S/he needs to feel secure and loved–that their needs will be met.

Although it’s never too late to improve your skills and start implementing effective parenting strategies, the older your children get, the more resistant they will be to change and the more difficult it will be to start new habits. Be patient. It takes time to establish new patterns of behavior for everyone in the family, but with determination, consistency, and a positive attitude you’ll reap the benefits!

3 – Stay calm and carry on.

As Anne Lamott says, they don’t come with operating instructions. We will make mistakes. We will worry. We will feel guilty, and a whole range of other emotions. Yet know that you are learning from them, as they are from you. In the end, the good-enough, responsible parents will watch in awe as their children mature and fly the nest. You will weather the middle and high school years, even if it doesn’t feel like it now. It’s important to keep sight of the end result we want, and that they want. If we model high standards of behavior, ethics, and compassion, our children almost always follow suit. When they don’t, and you truly are concerned for their welfare, seek outside help. These are new waters we are wading into in the time of digital communication and “social” media, which I believe is anything but promoting good standards of socialization.

I thought the worst thing I ever did was graze my son’s head on a wall during a late-night feeding. I was sleep-deprived, but skulls have lots of blood vessels! (See what I learned?) And he was absolutely fine after about an hour of enraged tears (and my guilty ones). That was nothing when my kids were diagnosed with reading processing and ADHD challenges. And that was nothing when they hit high school, and we all had to navigate lockdowns, suicides, and the fierce competition of a new teen era.

And yet my children have grown into amazing, successful, balanced adults in spite of my lack of instructions or experience.

4- Practice self-care. 

One of the reasons being a parent is often stressful is because it’s 24/7. You’re “on call” every day at all hours. For the stay-at-home parent it becomes especially important to maintain adult interaction. When you are alone with young children all day long, day after day, the isolation you feel can lead to depression, loneliness, and resentment. When you’re a working parent, it can seem as if your only break is a few hours of sleep a night.  A healthy way to combat this is through connection with other adults.

Do you have friends or family who are also raising children? Arrange for weekly play-dates where you can meet at a park or playground or at one another’s houses to enjoy conversation and coffee while tending the kids. Consider joining a parenting group such as MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) or City Dads Group. Find a group for families and not just for your kids. In this competitive age, we find little time to converse as grown-ups because of travel teams and public service groups.

Set aside regular time with your spouse or partner so as to keep your relationship strong. And make time for yourself. Arrange with your spouse to “hold down the fort” while you get some time away from home to refresh, renew, and recover, and reciprocate.

5 – Don’t compare!

This is a tough one, but it is possible! Family dynamics vary from one home to another. Avoid comparing yourself and your children to other parents and their children. Everyone’s situation and skill-set is different and each child is different. Like my husband and I, you might have the additional challenge of a child with ADHD, a learning disability, an emotional disorder, or a physical impairment. Your child may be adopted from another country and needs to adjust to not just the early transition but to peers noticing differences. It isn’t fair to yourself or your child to compare your situation to your neighbor’s.

Keep a good perspective and don’t be too hard on yourself or your child. Keep an eye out for bullying or adult harshness if your child is different, but keep your expectations high. Let them know what you think is right, and then let them go (as long as they’re safe). Children are learning to become adults, which is a process. Likewise, you’re learning to parent well, which is also a process. Stay flexible and be willing to change techniques or learn new strategies. There are many ways to parent! The most important thing is to parent with love. Love yourself. Love your spouse or partner. Love your child. Build trust into the parent-child relationship, and mistakes made along the way will work out.

6 – Lead by example.

Practice modeling the behavior you want your children to adopt. If you want them to learn respect for others, they must see you respecting others. If you want them to learn good manners, then demonstrate good manners at home and away from home. Actions speak louder than words, so ensure that your actions speak love, patience, and acceptance loud and clear, along with the ideals you want your child to copy. In one sentence: Practice what you preach.

Good parenting isn’t instinctual; it’s relational. We relate to our children the way our parents related to us. If we came from a dysfunctional home, the tendency—but not the inevitability—is to continue to operate under that dysfunction, especially when under stress. If you find yourself slipping into such behavior, enlist help and be kind to yourself. We are capable of learning new patterns of relating!

It takes real commitment, but the rewards in terms of developing healthy, loving relationships with your children as they grow into adulthood and beyond, are phenomenal.

Kathryn Ramsperger is an author and coach, wife and mom. If you’d like discover more or to chat with her about your relationships, parenting challenges, or how to communicate with your child, see her other posts on this blog, or fill out this form for a complimentary no-obligation session.

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The 5 Keys To Good Parenting for Tweenshttps://groundonecoaching.com/the-5-keys-to-good-parenting-for-tweens/Tue, 28 May 2019 18:07:03 +0000https://groundonecoaching.com/?p=1914It’s that in-between age where your son or daughter is not quite a child any more, yet not a teenager. Children in this age group are starting to put themselves in the shoes of others, and think more abstractly. They’re also beginning to strive for more independence, rely on their friends, and be more resistant…

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Author & Coach
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