Surround Yourself with Inspiration

Have you ever heard the saying: you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with? Well, I’d like to take things a little bit further.

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Not only are you a product of your relationships but you are a product of your environment, the foods you eat, and the thoughts you consume. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with supportive, positive, like-minded, AND open-minded individuals. When you start to surround yourself with people who inspire you, you’ll start to raise your vibrational aura and everything else starts to fall into place. THE UNIVERSE HAS YOUR BACK! As long as, you too, have your back.

For today, my advice for you is to find the healthiest and happiest person you can stand and spend as much time with them as possible. When you are choosy about who you spend your time with, you are setting yourself up for success in the future. If you ensure that you’re surrounded by inspiration, you’ll never have trouble finding it when you’re in need.

One Healthy Breakdown: Surround yourself with greatness, eat greatness, think greatness, and be greatness!

*Check Alexa out at alexagundermann.com and stay tuned for some healthy collaboration events in the Hamptons this summer!

The Ultimate Reminder to SLOWWWW Down!

I recently experienced the ultimate reminder to SLOW DOWN and I’m here to share.

slowHere’s how it went down. Busy Wednesday mid-November. Home for an hour between meetings to eat lunch and get some work done. Starving. Going 100 miles an hour. Cue the incident. No time to cook. Go for a frozen veggie burger. Go to cut two frozen burgers apart with a sharp knife. Stab knife between frozen burgers to separate. Think “bad idea.” Keep going. Cut ring finger. Cue pain and LOTS of blood (will spare further gory details.) Stop in tracks. Cringe. Attend to booboo. Get very nauseous. Get better. Decide to shake it off instead of go to hospital. Live with swollen finger for three months (yes, THREE MONTHS.) Finally go to doctor. Get engagement ring and wedding band sawed off finger. Told severed tendon will not heal without splint. Go to physical therapist. Get splint made. Forced to slow down because everything is slower with a splinted finger.

Curse my own stupidity. Count my blessings. Thankful only a finger. Thankful all limbs working fine. Thankful that recovery is only a month. Thankful for good doctors. Annoyed with self. Regretting going 100 miles an hour. Missing rings desperately. Aggravated that shampooing, cooking, TYPING, holding weights, kettlebells, steering wheel etc. difficult.

See where I’m going with this? If I had just literally taken the extra four seconds (FOUR SECONDS!) to set the gosh darn veggie burgers down and cut them in a safer manner, I would have saved myself hours of nausea, three doctors visits, replacing my wedding and engagement rings with far less-attractive finger splints, hundreds of dollars in medical bills, lots of frustration, and a really silly story to tell.

Point is, we’re all super busy. We’re going, going, going…but, regardless of where it is that we’re going, if we rush, cut corners, and get ahead of ourselves, we’re not living in the moment, we’re not enjoying the ride, and we’re putting ourselves and others at risk of making a silly mistake. Do it right or do it twice and pay the price. I’m paying alright.

This is my reminder to STOP in your tracks. Take a minute to breathe. Really breathe. Allow yourself a break. Reset your speed a bit slower. Enjoy the ride. Embrace the moment. Don’t miss this minute because you’re eager to get to the next. Live in the present. Count your blessings. Hug your loved ones. Be kind. Stay calm. Put the phone down. Practice mindfulness. Do what you do with grace and intention. Work hard. Prepare the meal slowly (and safely.) Taste your food. Chew slowly. Be yourself. Listen to music. Take care of yourself. Find pleasure in everything. Embrace nature. And once again, B R E A T H E. Breathe slowly. Stop every once in a while to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Your to-do list can wait and you’ll need all 10 fingers to be the superhero that you are…trust me!

One Healthy Breakdown: Proceed slowly.

December Holiday Kick-Off!

Tis’ the season! We’re kicking off the holidays like a rockette this month; December’s fitness challenge is high kicks! That’s right, we’re spreading cheer in the air while we work our quads, hips, hamstrings, and heart! To kick, stand in a split stance with one leg slightly forward. Kick straight ahead with your back leg, keeping your upper body tall, centered, or leaning slightly back (not forward.) Repeat on the other side. Start LOW with just four kicks (two on each side) to prevent injury and work your way higher and higher as the month progresses. Just print or pin the calendar and get your kick on all December long! Enjoy this very merry month!

December Kick ChallengeOne Healthy Breakdown: nothin’ like a holiday high-kick to feel the burn!

Healthy Communication

Communication is a skill we use every single day. Preparing for my upcoming wedding and attending Precana this past weekend has me thinking a lot about communication, arguably the number one most important factor in a relationship. To me, healthy communication is the ability to clearly express how we feel. While it sounds so easy, when emotions and different opinions are added into the mix, effective communication becomes quite challenging. I know I’ve gotten pretty darn good at the silent treatment, but it really doesn’t get me anywhere near a resolution…so, I’m committing to be less silent and more communicative. Who’s with me?!

Couple Holding Hands With the new season starting, it’s the perfect time to identify some personal goals and things to work on; communication is a great place to start. Whether you’ve been married for 50 years, you’re in a new relationship, or you just want to get along better with friends and family, communication is something we can all strengthen. Here are some tips on healthy communication and constructive arguments (adapted from A Decision to Love by John and Susan Midgley.)

1. Focus on you. We can’t change others, we can only change ourselves. Instead of “you always/never do this,” use “I wish you would/wouldn’t ___ because it makes me feel ____.

2. Focus on your feelings instead of what others are doing wrong. Feelings aren’t debatable, we all feel how we feel and have the right to express them. Understand that arguing should be an opportunity to share and validate your feelings, not to prove right vs. wrong.

3. Deep breaths. Take a breath and a moment to collect yourself in order to remain calm. As soon as we lose our cool and get heated, that’s when things turn for the worst and communication becomes unhealthy and ineffective.

4. Take turns. Instead of a screaming match where nothing is heard because you’re both going at it at once, allow each other to finish the thought and then respond. It’s much cleaner that way.

5. Maintain eye contact throughout the conversation. This will keep your attention and show respect. Looking at the person will also help to remind you that you’re upset about the disagreement, but that your feelings for the other person have not changed.

6. Keep it simple and focused. Argue about what you’re arguing about instead of bringing up past issues or other topics. Being direct can solve the problem at hand instead of leading into a blow-out fight where neither participant even knows why you’re fighting.

7. Remain respectful. Don’t bring up sensitive spots that don’t even relate just to knock the other person down. An argument can only be healthy when there’s a level of mutual respect. Cheap shots don’t get anyone anywhere.

8. Last but definitely not least: LISTEN. Yes, share your part, but really listen to what the other person has to say. They may just tell you something you didn’t know or change your perspective on the issue at hand. If nothing else, they deserve your attention when expressing their feelings and vice versa. Learning occurs through listening.

One Healthy Breakdown: Arguing is healthy, normal, and inevitable. We all do it. But is it constructive or destructive? Healthy or unhealthy?