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Personal Desk

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Do you ever feel mentally "in a fog?" Many people report that they often feel so mentally drained at some point in their day that they can no longer focus on things that really matter to them. This is especially frustrating when you're trying to reach new personal goals outside of the hours of your day that are devoted to someone else's goals/mission. But the good news is - You have the power to improve your brain's ability to focus and perform with greater mental sharpness throughout your day no matter the circumstance. You can improve your concentration and build your mental stamina. With your willingness and my guidance, together we can improve your focus in order to live the life you want.


Many believe that because they are diagnosed with ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, or simply have too many responsibilities in daily life, that they simply can't achieve staying focused. Carrying out daily responsibilities can seem daunting when you lack focus resilience. Organizing, prioritizing, and getting through day to day life efficiently seems like an impossible mission. It can even feel exhausting and leave one feeling mentally burned out at the end of every single day. Parents, professionals, students does this sound familiar?


The brain is designed like any other organ in our body. If we create habits to take care of it, it will get healthier, stronger, and become more resilient just like our muscles, our heart, our skin, our gut, and our immune system.


You can learn and incorporate these habits one by one over the course of 3, 6, or 12 months. In fact, the slower you build these habits, the more likely your are to stick to them. It takes practice. It may look messy at first. But it's not about achieving perfection, it's about improving the quality of your life - in a way that works best with your brain.


The good news is, the habits I'm referring to are all related to your basic needs - sleeping, eating, exercising, managing your energy (as opposed to managing time), single tasking (as opposed to multi-tasking), planning your simplest daily activities, and becoming more aware of your environment (both physical and social). Paying attention to these areas will improve how your brain works. And an efficient, working brain is a happy brain!


It may seem like I just listed a lot here, but don't fret. Together, I will walk you through how to break down each area of lifestyle in separate easy to read posts with small bites of digestible information to get you thinking and reflecting on areas in your life where you can alleviate your over burdened brain and welcome in a more calm, focused brain.


Happy reading!


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Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Contrary to popular American attitude, sleep is NOT a luxury. Sleep is a physiological function even more necessary than eating at regular intervals. You can fast safely from solid food for days, even weeks. But try "fasting" from sleep. You're likely to suffer severe mood swings, volatile emotions, forgetfulness, heart palpitations, insatiable cravings for carbohydrates (hello diabetes!), dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, muscle aches, joint pain, even seizures. Every sleep specialist will tell you, If you're not sleeping enough at night you will not be on your "A" game the next day.


In fact, when I'm evaluating a patient for ADHD one of the most critical parts of the interview is asking about sleep. How much sleep are you getting at night? What's the quality of your sleep? Do you snore? Do you get up more than once in the middle of the night? Do you wake up feeling refreshed and restored? Do you toss and turn to try to get to sleep? Do you hit snooze 5 times or are you up on the first alarm? Do you need a nap in the afternoon because you feel you've hit wall?


All of these details matter. There's a reason we have a field of medicine dedicated to sleep. Sleep specialists may be pulmonologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, even endocrinologists and cardiologists are learning more about the clinical implications of healthy sleep. Do you know why? Because sleep affects every organ system of the body.


Many of my friends, co-workers, and family members view sleep as a sign of weakness or laziness. In Jay Shetty's recent book, Think Like a Monk, the author touches on the importance of sufficient sleep and how unfortunately, our "productivity driven society" encourages us to work more and sleep less and think that it's ok. He even quotes the writer Maria Popova, "We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it is, is a profound failure of self respect and of priorities." I agree 100%!


Sleep has always been important to me. In fact, if you read or listen to the author Gretchen Rubin, writer of Better Than Before, and host of the podcast "Happier", you know she has named herself a "sleep zealot." And I can so relate to that! I remember loving to sleep as a child. As an adult, I've also valued sleep through every stage of life - especially after the birth of my two beautiful kids.


Sleep more. Sleep better. Your mental clarity and focus will improve. Your energy will improve. Your mood will improve, and so will your resilience when life throws a wrench in your day.


So how can you improve the amount and quality of sleep?


I'm so glad you asked. Sleep doctors call it "good sleep hygiene." Here's what it includes:


*Turn off all electronics 1 hour before you want to fall asleep. That means anything with a screen: laptop, tablets, phones, TVs.


*Have a bedtime ritual that you stick to nightly. This may include a warm soothing shower, taking off your makeup, flossing, brushing, slathering on an aromatherapy lotion, slip in to soft comfortable sleep wear, keep a bed or journal with pen by the bed and read something fun (not news!) or write out what you want tomorrow morning to look like.


*Soft lighting in the bedroom. Warm lighting. Preferably on a dimmer, but a bedside lamp works fine if you're in a rental and you're not at liberty to install dimmers.


*Soft music. I like to ask Alexa to play "spa music." It brings relaxing music into my ambience.


*Make sure your room is dark and cool. Turn down the thermostat or use a fan to get the temperature comfortable.


*Wake at the same time consistently throughout the week. Sleeping in on the weekends is certainly ok now and then but it should never be more than. an hour later than your usual wake time.


*Keep daytime naps to a minimum and keep them early. A refreshing 10-20 minute cat nap can rejuvenate you, but certainly don't nap after 3 pm.


*Avoid caffeine after 3 pm.


*Avoid overindulging in food and alcohol late at night. One glass. of wine may be fine. to unwind, but any more than that is likely to interrupt your sleep and sure to cause unpleasant effects in the morning that sap your daytime energy.


*Exercise early in the day.


*Expose yourself to natural light during the day even for just 10-30 minutes/day.


Try these sleep hygiene habits for one week: log your sleep routine (before bed and upon arising). Be conscious of how you feel in the morning. Be conscious of what races through your mind at night. Aim for 7-9 hours as much as possible. Everyone has a different sleep threshold, but most healthy adults thrive in the range of 7-9 hours.


Let me know how your sleep project goes. Sweet dreams!

You can email me at: veronica@focusedmindcoach.com or leave a comment in the comments below. I can't wait to hear what you discover!








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Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Improving mental clarity and focus is a multifactorial equation. It requires examining and adjusting several aspects of one's current lifestyle. At The Focused Mind Coaching Center, we believe mental focus is a trained skill. It doesn't matter how naturally good or bad at concentrating your mind you are. What matters is, are you coachable?


I'm here to tell you, no prove to you, that your mind's ability to focus is like any other muscle in the rest of your body. You have the ability to improve it. Build it. Develop it. Condition it. Just like you can strengthen your body with exercise, the right diet, healthy sleep habits, and protection from the elements, so too can you condition and strengthen your mind. In fact, when you start taking care of your body with healthy intentions your mind quickly follows suit. Often times, it's not that we actually can't focus, it's just that we are not focusing on the right things. This is what I refer to as mental clarity. It's easy to lose our mental clarity in a world full of electronic, physical, and circumstantial distractions.


If you have tried to reach a goal several times for as long as you can remember, and you've always fallen short, you've probably started to believe your goal is nothing short of impossible. Worse, you've probably begun to feel like a failure. You've even thought out loud, "I'm such a failure." Repeated failures destroy your confidence. Repeated failures lead to a deep distrust of your own thoughts, feelings, intuition. Repeated failures completely tear away our self respect and self image. Repeated failure becomes a story we believe about ourselves and ultimately live out. Eventually, we end up feeling like we don't have the will power to make lasting change a reality for ourselves.


If we know what we want to achieve, but we fail in achieving it over and over, we start to collect evidence for the belief that we are not worthy, able, strong willed enough, or focused enough to do the things we long for. It's a negative cycle. Each failure derails us from our focus. Each negative circumstance becomes an obstacle that weakens our resolve. Excuses become the enemy of focus and mental clarity.


We get distracted by the circumstances of our lives and by our beliefs about those circumstances. We get distracted by nay-sayers who don't believe in our mission or our ability to achieve our dreams. We get distracted by our emotions, our moods, and especially our fatigue. Eventually, we get distracted so many times, we decide it's more painless to simply give up than to keep trying.


The self deception here is that giving up is only painless in the moment you feel most powerless. The next day or week, or month, the pain hovers over you like a dark cloud which is the pain that is left by having given up your hearts deepest desires. Nothing good comes from this cycle. Yet we live it out continually.


Ugh! Enough of all that drama!


I've created the Focused Mind Coaching Center to help you overcome your distractions, and improve your life starting today.


The last twenty three years of my life, I've been dedicated to a neurology practice, with a sub-specialty in ADHD and neurodevelopment disorders. I've written countless prescriptions for ADHD medications, ordered thousands of consults with psychologists, behavioral analysts, and even referred many of my patients to psychiatry. I've filled out thousands of documents requesting all kinds of special accommodations for my patients in their respective educational and work settings. And over the years, I've noticed a gap for a modality that addresses improving Executive Dysfunction.


Executive functioning skills are the skills we have to plan, prepare, not procrastinate, stay centered on our tasks to see them through to completion. Healthy executive function is about sticking to deadlines, proper and healthy time management, knowing what to do when. It's about structure. It's about healthy habits that set us up for success.


So the burning questions you're still pondering...How can we change the things we are unhappy with about ourselves? How can we cultivate a healthier future (both mentally and physically)? How can we make LASTING change? I can't even focus for an hour a day on the simple tasks of living: paying bills on time, exercising daily, eating better for more energy, keeping my living and working spaces tidy, keeping clutter to a minimum, taking the trash out on time, getting to work and school on time! The list is endless, I know.


These are the challenges I'm going to help you with. Together, I'm going to walk you through learning to create habits that will take the "work" out of daily living, so you don't lose your laser sharp focus for building the future of your dreams.


I will teach you how to overcome unpleasant circumstances that can throw you off course. I will help you train your mind to function at its best. Together, we will awaken, strengthen, and develop your mind's focus. This is all you need to create the lasting change your heart desires.


I want to coach you to realize your potential and develop your talents so that you can live your most successful, satisfying, and abundant life.


Are you ready and willing to be coachable? If yes, reach out to me via email at: veronica@focusedmindcoach.com so we can schedule a free 30-minute consultation.


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