About Julia Bowlin

Julia Bowlin, MD is one of the nation’s top family doctors voted by Consumer Research Counsel of America. In her many years as a doctor in private practice, Dr. Julia has implemented a blend of conscious awareness and conventional medicine.

Celebrate 2018: How To Maximize The New Year

The Road Ahead: What Will You Do Differently This Year To Celebrate and Succeed?

Changing the way things are done can bring opportunities for great celebratory success yet physical and emotional reactions to change can be scary and irrational, resulting in “failures”, a decrease in quality and a loss of production.

CHANGE CAN BE SCAREY

It’s tempting to give in to those anxieties by doing what’s always been done, however, priming the pump to have a better year always involves some form of adjustment to free up the time, money and energy to tackle new opportunities.

How do you decide what changes are the most important ones to make?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What personal and business tolerations interfered with personal and work progress? Tolerations are a good indication of issues in need of resolution.
  2. Were last year’s goals reached? Why or why not? How will those obstacles be addressed? Setting new goals without having evaluated the previous year’s goals can result in a cycle of substandard results.
  3. What fiscally responsible goal (making more money, collaborating, creating new products/services, improved marketing strategy, etc.) will also be fun? 
All work and no play make Jack a dull (and bored) boy, as the saying goes.

 

What do you need to change to celebrate a better year?

Choose passion over profit. Connect to your bigger purpose in life, work and business and the rewards will flow effortlessly. Passionate people attract success.

Higher learning. Technology changes fast. Staying on top of what’s working now is only half the battle. Discovering what’s up and coming and leveraging that knowledge is the key to an exceptional year.

Celebrate success. Acknowledging and rewarding success keeps everyone motivated. Mark those mini-milestones with celebration and recognition!

Add, don’t subtract. When repeat clients stop buying your products or services, something needs to change. Instead of cutting prices, add value instead–bundle existing services/products, add bonuses or create new offerings.

What are your blind spots?

Every driver has blind spots. That’s what rear-view mirrors are for. Blind spots in the work and business environment can be harder to identify. How does a person avert disaster in a work environment without the benefit of mirrors?

Ask around. Getting honest feedback from clients, customers and service providers can be as uncomfortable as it is invaluable. Do it anyway.

Seek professional help. Getting an objective outsiders opinion can help you see what is going well or not.

Coffee time. Chat up a colleague and encourage them to share their observations about what you are doing well and what needs improvement. Sometimes what needs to change is missed because it is so “obvious.”

Mantra Yourself: Creating a mindset of intention is key for setting the stage of routine and energetic flow. Here are some examples to get the juices flowing

Moving into the New Year doesn’t have to be a scary proposition. Having a clear sense of what’s ahead can circumvent failure and create a successful year.

Sad After The Holidays? You’re Not Alone…

How to Cope with the Post-Holiday Blues

A trail of brown needles leads out to the curb where the Christmas tree, once fragrant and green, lies wilted and dying. Unplugged are the brightly colored lights and, along with the treasured decorations, boxed up and stored away. Gone too, are family and friends. And where so recently nights were filled with gala social gatherings, the only thing left on many to-do lists is return gifts and mop up.

 

To top it off, in many parts of the country dreary, gray days lengthen into cold, dark nights.

 

No wonder so many people find themselves at a loss once the holiday season is over. The Post-Holiday Blues—feelings of sadness, of let-down, of depression—are not at all uncommon this time of year.

 

As the name implies, these blues are seasonal and are likely to disappear as the routine of daily life sets in again and things get back to normal. But the symptoms are real and can make a return to that ordinary rhythm hard to come by.

 

 

Symptoms of the Post-Holiday Blues can include feelings of fatigue or lethargy, an increased need for sleep, a lack of interest in activities and a sense of loss or sadness. To help get through this time, here are some things you can do:

 

  • Extend the time of giving by continuing to be generous. With so many new toys, children can clean out their toy boxes and closets and give to a charity or church those which they no longer use or want. Adults can do the same with clothes, household items or their own “toys.”

 

  • Recount the good times by writing thank you notes. Handwritten notes acknowledging the gift of time shared can be meaningful too – for the writer as well as the recipient.

 

  • Instead of putting this year’s holiday pictures away in a drawer along with all those other photos of years gone by, set aside the time to put them in a holiday scrapbook. Make it a family project.

 

  • When the weather permits, take walks outside. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, exercise inside. Put on some music and dance with yourself.

 

  • Every day schedule in a pleasant activity for yourself. Even if it’s only a hot bath or a half-hour with a favorite book.

 

  • Bring beauty into your home and your life. Taking down the holiday decorations can make a place feel dull and empty. Fill it up again with art, candles, flowers, bowls of fruit.

 

  • Plan a trip or a project. Working on something and making plans gives you something to look forward to.

 

  • Volunteer for activities through one of your favorite organizations.

 

  • Recognize that this time and these feelings too shall pass, as the night to day and winter to spring.

 

However, feelings beyond “the blues” or feelings that are more debilitating, or that extend much beyond the post-holidays, may signal depression. Seek help when you need it. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone.

 

WINTER BLUE BLUE BLUES

 

This time of year there are SO many reasons to get the sadness blues:

  • getting sick from all the viruses
  • so much less daylight
  • feeling disconnected from people and feeling nobody gets you
  • memories reviewing of lost loved ones and missed opportunities
  • stress from the holidays

What is one supposed to do???

“Winter is coming” formally so  it is best to put on your proverbial winter coat and wrap yourself in good scarf and gloves to stave off or manage the pain that that sadness brings

Here are 3 “A” steps you can use to shift the energy into healing, health, and wholeness.

  1. ASSESS: What you are really feeling?  Are you carrying emotional anchors such as sadness, loneliness, regret, shame, blame from the past that may or may not be serving you in the present?  Stop what you are doing and go through the “WHO< WHAT <WHY<HOW<WHEN” of the emotion. Who was with me? What was I doing that triggered my present feeling? Why am I feeling this way? When have I felt this way before?  Getting clarity is so helpful to put the emotion into perspective.
  2. ACKNOWLEDGE you are human and forgive yourself and others.  Let your adult mature self nurture and hold your inner child who might be suffering from a loss or past trauma.  You are human and deserve to feel deeply and experience pain as well as joy.  It is truly the human experience to do so.  Be kind to yourself and be your OWN best friend!
  3. ACTIVATE: Tell yourself “this is a moment in time” and this too shall pass and let it be OK!  You might be mourning your expectation of what you thought your life would have or could have been.  Just acknowledge this and then  send to the universe your vision of what you expect the future to be.
    1. Set intentions to bring yourself back to the connection with other people.  YOU NEED THIS.  We are social animals.  If you are alone find a place to volunteer, go to a church service, work in a soup kitchen, make some food and take it to an elderly who is isolated or in a Nursing Home.
    2. Just make a list.  Set a timer…sit in your blues wholeheartedly and acknowledge your beautiful capacity to feel deeply.
    3. Get a natural “mood light” and use this mid-day to bring some “sunshine” to your day.

The Holiday Winter Blues are a true subjective experience and I wish you love, self kindness, connection, and support.

Embracing Conflict During the Holidays

Embracing Conflict

 

At Beth and Jim’s house, the dining room had become a war zone. Exhausted after a long day of work, all they wanted was to find some comfort from each other. Instead, an argument about household chores had escalated into a full-blown yelling match.

 

Conflict shows up when what we want or think clashes with what someone else wants or thinks. Our primal instincts get threatened, and we try to protect our territory—our version of what is right and wrong, our opinion about what should happen next or our sense of entitlement to get what we want.

 

Because conflict taps into those deep instincts, it can feel like a personal attack. Depending on how situations were handled in our family of origin, our default response to conflict may be to fight, flee or hide.

 

Those responses may feel comfortable to us, because they’re what we know, but they’re no fun. And as a result we may do just about anything we can to avoid conflict. We may agree to something we don’t want to do, give up something we want or avoid taking risks.

 

The Benefits of Conflict

Conflict may feel uncomfortable but it can be positive. It can clear the air of resentments that have been poisoning your relationships. It can also highlight things, people or situations in your life that it’s time to let go of.

 

When Beth calmed down a bit, she realized that she’d been angry for a long time that, although they both worked full-time, she still was expected to do all the meal preparation and clean up. She shared her feelings honestly and requested that they split more of those chores, and they came to an agreement.

 

Facing conflict, and emerging from the other side of it, can give you a newfound strength and boost your self-esteem. It can also deepen your relationship and reinforce your bond.

 

Embracing Conflict

Changing our default response to conflict takes awareness and practice. When we embrace conflict, we stand our ground and accept the situation for what it is. We’re able to detach from it emotionally. Instead of tapping into our primal instincts, we can access our “higher” self; our loving, wise, intuitive side. That part of us can always find a win-win solution, or a way to find the learning and opportunity in even the most difficult encounter.

 

The more we face conflict, the more comfortable we become with it. We can’t rewrite our family history, but we can re-learn how to deal with the inevitable phases of disharmony in our relationships.

 

Conflict Pitfalls and Warning Signs

Different people have different styles of conflict. Try to be as sensitive and understanding as you can. When Beth stepped back, she realized that Jim probably didn’t realize that her resentment had been building up over time. She knew that he tended to react very strongly when he was tired, and that he had a hard time decompressing from the stress of the workday. By lashing out at him as soon as he came home, she set his typical stress response in motion.

 

For some people, conflict can be addictive, like adrenalin. The highs and lows of conflict can wear you down just like any other addictive substance. If you notice a sense of “thrill” when you’re gearing up to confront someone, take note and find an opportunity to explore your underlying motive. Some of the following tips may help:

 

Tips for Embracing Conflict

 

  • Choose your battles. Before embracing a conflict head-on, decide if it’s truly necessary. In a year from now, would this still be important?

 

  • Take a time out. At the first sign of conflict, check in with your own level of emotional centeredness. If you’re feeling attacked, or like your primal instincts are running the show, excuse yourself from the situation and get calm. This worked wonders for Beth.

 

  • Check in with someone else. Discuss/vent your feelings with someone outside of the situation to diffuse your reactions first. Resist the temptation to get the person to take sides; focus on your feelings versus the details of who did what to whom.

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2017 JuliaBowlinMDLLC

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Not Enough Time in the Day? 3 Steps to Complete That Task

Get Clear On Where You’re Going

 

Have you ever felt that there’s just not enough time in the day and as a result you feel overwhelmed and your “to-do list” keeps getting longer? Most often, when we run out of time for projects or pursuits, the reason is that we’ve spent a lot of time lost in ambiguity.

 

When you’re supremely clear about where you’re going and what you want to do, there’s no time lost. Your actions are clear & precise, and you can make an AMAZING amount of progress in just a short period of time.

 

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to eliminate the time-management nightmare.

 

  1. Pleasure and plan your work.

Take a few moments to determine WHY you want to accomplish your task. For example if I have to clean the kitchen or house the real reason is that I derive pleasure in order and cleanliness. Where you’re going and how you plan to get there?  You don’t have to know all the steps or details; just write down the basic outline as you can see it.

 

  1. Gather your resources.

Get your tools in order. Make sure you have food & water and anything else you need to get started. What do you need to do this job right? Get it all together BEFORE you start to minimize distractions and having to restart your task over and over.

 

  1. Work your plan with RADICAL FOCUS

Give yourself a deadline, then follow your outline step-by-step. If you get lost or distracted, come back to your outline and see what’s next.

 

Before long you will have a finished product or project, and plenty of time to relax or do something else…like stare out the window for 20 minutes.

 

What are YOU going to do TODAY?

 

How to Interrupt Negative Patterns

When unfavorable situations, actions and emotional conflicts happen again and again in your life—same scene, different characters—there’s a good chance you are in the presence of a negative “pattern.”

 

Some examples: picking the wrong lovers/partners, constant conflict with co-workers, chronic debting, people-pleasing.

 

At best, these negative patterns cause frustration. At worst, they cause undue suffering, uphill struggle, sometimes even death.

 

The good news is: you have the power to change these negative patterns. Below are some ways to begin to disrupt them so that you can start laying down new, more positive patterns.

 

Become aware.

No matter how entrenched a pattern seems, the act of noticing begins the shift away from damaging thoughts or behaviors. Put simply, you can’t change what you’re not aware of.

 

One way to become aware is to just sit with your thoughts and watch for the patterns. The goal here is to notice, that’s all.

 

In this step, focus your awareness on just the facts and feelings of the patterns. Don’t let your mind wander into the analysis of “why” you have them right now, for it will likely try to justify and defend the pattern. You can analyze later (see below); for now, just notice.

 

Also, ask people you trust to help you see the patterns. Our blind spots are called “blind” for a reason; we just don’t see them. But they’ll be clear as day to others.

 

Discover the hidden payoff.

Becoming aware of your negative patterns, you see evidence they are dis-serving, perhaps even damaging, you. For example, your pattern of conflict with co-workers has gotten you fired several times, and now your resume reflects that pattern, too. For example too often we live in the mindset where we “should be” doing things in our head.  You need to stop SHOULDING ALL OVER YOURSELF and realize that mindset keeps you in a failure pattern of self imprisonment.

 

The key to interrupting negative patterns is to understand this: we generally don’t keep repeating behaviors unless, on some level, we get something good out of them.

 

These hidden reasons are known as “payoffs,” and they either help you get more of something you want or avoid something you don’t want.

 

In the example above, the person in constant conflict with co-workers could be using the conflict to cover up deep insecurity with his/her work quality. The conflict, in effect, distracts from scrutiny.

 

Or the conflict could stem from uncensored outspokenness. The person may have an oppressive situation at home, and being excessively frank at work may allow him/her to feel powerful and self-expressed in at least one arena of life.

 

Look for (and create) positive patterns.

One of the best ways to disrupt the negative patterns that may be wreaking havoc with your life is to also study the positive patterns in your life. For these can be “grafted” onto your negative patterns with great success.  Instead of saying in your head “I need to stop feeling stressed out all the time” flip it to the positive “I am going to invite and experience more joy and peace of mind in my life”.  The act of flipping an expectation or belief into the positive can be very liberating .

 

For example, you can utilize the discipline you’ve always had around working out regularly to stop using credit to finance your lifestyle.

 

Consider your negative patterns as the pipes to your backyard pond that are old and clogged with mineral build-up. Laying new pipes (positive patterns) could be the easiest, quickest and most effective solution.

 

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Tip #16: A Life Out of Balance Comes With a Price

Consistently living life out of balance – at a frantic pace — comes with a price. Not only for the people who are experiencing the imbalance, but also for the people they care about, and the organizations they serve.

Did you know that companies lose between $200 – $300 per person annually due to work place stress? Did you know that 80% of people feel stress on the job and that stress is the number 1 health problem? And global studies indicate that 70% of workers do not feel they have good work-life balance.

Frantic, chaotic, hectic lifestyles cost us not only the joy we find in life, but create a feeling of loss of control, while negatively impacting everyone and everything around us.

Make this year different than the last and choose to move toward balance, so instead of paying the ‘price’, you can reap the ‘reward’.

Tip #15: Three Questions That Make a Big Difference

Each day we make choices that influence our pace and quality of life, and often we are completely unaware of the choices we are making and how they affect our life balance. So often we are operating from habit, instinct or need. While it’s a good thing that we don’t have to think about every little choice we make, when it comes to creating a balance between our work-related activities and the rest-of-our-life activities, it is critical to be conscious and deliberate about our decisions. Otherwise, we find ourselves feeling the negative effect of our unconscious choices by feeling overwhelmed, out of control, stressed, or even sick.

As you start your new year, become more aware of the many decisions you have to make in a day and ask yourself these three questions: 1. Is this moving me toward or away from a balanced life?, 2. Do I have a choice?, and 3. If I don’t have a choice, what can be a positive perspective around this decision? Approaching the new year by consciously asking yourself these three questions can make a big difference in your personal and professional fulfillment.

Tip #14: Is it a Dream or is it Real?

Having a balanced life feels like an elusive dream for many of us and every year it is high on the list of things to change. There is no doubt that our lives are filled with demands pulling at us from many different directions, sometimes with no end in sight. But as you enter into the new year, you can choose to make small changes that can ultimately make a big difference in getting your life back into balance.

Here are some simple choices you can make in your day to achieve more balance and fulfillment:

    • Choose your leisure activities wisely. You only have a limited number of hours in the day for fun, so spend them on things you really enjoy.
    • When someone asks you to do something, don’t just say ‘yes’, only to regret it later. First consider how that thing will impact your work-life balance.
    • Plan at least one task every day that you know you will complete, and that you know you will feel good about. Then do it.
    • Identify the most stressful things in your life, and make simple changes so they feel less stressful.

You have the power to make these small, simple choices throughout the day for big impact. Set the intention this year and consciously move toward creating the ideal balanced life that you desire.

Tip #13: The Year to Reclaim More Time for Yourself

Life balance is something that we all aspire to. And every year we resolve that this is going to be the year where we gain control of our life instead of it having control of us. Imagine living a life in which your time is your own and where your opportunities for fun and enjoyment are equally balanced with opportunities for work.

Try making these simple changes to reclaim your time and achieve more balance:

  • Decide that when you do something with friends or family that you will be fully engaged in the process. Do not allow yourself to have a negative attitude or be distracted by other things. You will find yourself enjoying the time and activities much more.
  • Re-evaluate your traditions – If the old ones are causing you too much stress, too much money, and too much energy, choose some new ones.
  • Choose to be “out of pocket.” We need to choose to be out of pocket more often. No cell phones, no email, no texting, and no appointments.

How nice would it be to have more of your time be your own this year? Give these simple changes a try.