Women's wellness expert Bridgit Danner shares her tips for developing the habits that will keep us strong, healthy, and productive. (And don't miss the link below for information about her upcoming free online women's wellness summit!)
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Healthy Habits = More Productivity
Healthy habits form a foundation for a productive life. During our conversation, Bridgit shared tips from her own life and from her years of study and service as a women's wellness expert.
Bridgit recently switched her work from a clinic setting to working at home. She now gets up 15 minutes earlier to hydrate and meditate. After making lunches and breakfast to get her family out the door, she’ll walk the dog to have some extra quiet time and get moving out in nature.
Morning is my most productive time, when my brain is working better.”
She likes the motto “Create before you consume” from Marie Forleo, meaning spending time on her own creative projects before taking in something from others, such as by checking her email.
Sometimes she goes to yoga during lunch to break up her day and take a break in the middle of the day.
On a good day, she can get in three hours of focused work in the morning and then again in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, she likes doing more monotonous tasks because of the lower energy.
Bridgit’s energy boosters
- Get outside and some fresh air. Do some breathing, walk around the building, and change your focus to other things aside from your deadlines. It will refresh you both physically and mentally, which means you'll be more effective when you get back to work.
- Movement helps us digest our meals, too. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming — even walking up and down the stairs can help get some movement in during the day.
- Movement helps pump some blood to your brain. When we are constantly focused on a task, our frontal brain is working hard and needs a break — it is squeezing our hypothalamus/pituitary gland, which affects our capacity for focused thinking.
- Lemon and water: Half or a whole lemon squeezed into some water is a natural way to boost your energy. The vitamin C will boost your adrenal glands, and the smell will invigorate you. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold. Add Stevia or use sparkling water to suit your tastes.
- Tulsi/Holy Basil tea: Holy basil is an herb that can help your stress handling This can be found at most natural grocery stores, Whole Foods, or online. Yogi, for example, offers Tulsi/Holy Basil tea. — Yogi Tea, available at Whole Foods, most natural grocery stores, a mild taste.
Our brains need rest as much as our bodies do, especially if we want to maximize our creativity and productivity.
As soon as there’s a moment of quiet, we check our email or phones — we’re feeding the very thing that’s our undoing. If we can just take those 10 minutes to take some deep breaths and look around, it can really shift things.”
Note: In this episode, I refer to the book The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin, which I am currently reading. In this book, Levitin explains the science behind why it's important to take time to let our brains rest.
One challenge Bridgit talks about is the temptation to do smaller tasks to feel productive when she should be working on the bigger projects that are more important for her goals. Even though sending one email or cleaning out her inbox may give her short satisfaction, she says she still feels she has the bigger task hovering over her.
- One way she’s found to help with this is to go to a designated destination, like a library or a coffee shop, with the intention to work on one particular project.
- She also blocks off a chunk of time on her calendar to focus on one particular task or she’ll set a timer for a “power hour” to focus intently on the task she wants to accomplish, giving herself a break at the end of 50 minutes.
Productivity tools Bridgit uses and loves
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
- Insight Timer for meditation. The app includes guided meditations and also shows how many others meditated at the same time. It helps Bridgit create a structure for practicing meditation. (Available on iOS or Android devices)
- Acuity scheduler
- Writing things down. Bridgit holds a pen in her hands as she reads or thinks to jot down notes to herself, stimulating certain areas of her brain and her memory.
- She also uses a whiteboard to help map out certain thoughts and ideas, such as a program she’s working on, and it becomes fun, rather than intimidating. It helps motivate her and shift her thinking about the project.
Developing healthy habits
Developing healthy habits benefits not only our bodies but also our productivity. Productivity suffers when we're dealing with:
- Getting stuff done but not enjoying it
- Blood sugar imbalances
Bridgit’s tips for healthy habits to combat some of these include:
- Start the day off with protein and fat in your breakfast.
- Get little bits of movement throughout the day.
- Eat often.
- Add more fresh, whole foods to your diet, including ones that are nourishing and healing, as opposed to quick pick-me-ups.
- For chronic stomach aches, which can also inhibit our daily lives and our productivity, Bridgit recommends:
- Adding fermented food, like raw sauerkraut or kombucha, to your diet
- Eating slower and more mindfully — avoid eating quickly at your desk
- Thinking about eating more primitively, back when food was cooked and smelled and enjoyed more than our fast-paced lives today
- Taking time to come down from the stress of our jobs so we can focus on what we’re putting into our system.
- Restricting common ingredients or foods known to cause stomach inflammation, such as coffee, grains and gluten, dairy, sugar
- Exploring how you feel when you eat certain foods and eliminating some of the big offenders to get to a general baseline
- Find a health professional who can help you on your journey to wellness. Bridgit suggests considering a Naturopathic Physician or a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist.
What happens on a day you feel gets away from you?
When Bridgit becomes overwhelmed, she may turn to venting — it gives her room to regroup her thoughts. She also may try to get just the most important things done she needs to do if she can’t accomplish anything else. And, like many women, sometimes she realizes she has to give in to the day and adopt Scarlett O’Hara’s adage of “Tomorrow is another day.”
What's next for Bridgit?
Check out her upcoming free online event, April 11-18, 2016: Hormones, A Women’s Wellness Summit. 35 lectures, in audio and video format on topics such as digestive health, fertility, pre-menstrual syndrome, menopause, adrenal health, and more.
Just being a woman is difficult — career demands, dating and relationships, taking care of our families — and our hormones don’t always cooperate!“
Making a life that matters
You need that base of healthy routines to make a life that matters. When you give time for that, you get more energy to do what you need and want to do.
Bridgit Danner runs an online women’s health community called Women’s Wellness Collaborative. Through this community, she interviews experts in women's health through blogs, videos, podcasts, and online summits.
Bridgit practiced Chinese Medicine for nearly 12 years and has performed over 12,000 treatments. She is also a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner. She has worked extensively in the fertility field and has worked with many professional women to help them find health within their busy lives.
Bridgit became passionate about women’s health after her own postpartum health crisis. With the help of life coaching, holistic nutrition, functional medicine, and whole-food cooking, she was able to recover from postpartum depression, Epstein-Barr virus, and adrenal dysregulation. She loves to share the tools and skills she’s learned, along with the tools of other experts, to help women everywhere find the energy and balance they crave.
Connect with Bridgit
Listen to her podcast: Women’s Wellness Radio
The clinic she works with is Blue Sky Wellness Studio in Portland, Ore.
What do you think?
Do you have any questions for Bridgit about how to incorporate more healthy habits into your busy life? I’d love to hear your comments on this episode. Please feel free to ask your questions or share your thoughts with me by emailing me, commenting on our Facebook page or leaving a comment below.
Reminders and Notices
- I’m available to speak at your events — women’s retreats and conferences, productivity workshops, business teams, etc. Send me an email or call me at 972.638.0308 to talk about how I can add value to your event.
- I'm planning to start a mastermind group, which would meet either weekly or bi-weekly via Skype. This would consist of a small group of women committed to becoming more productive and making lives that matter. If this is something you’re interested in, please email me with your interest, and put “Mastermind” in the subject line. For general information on what a mastermind group is, check out “What Is a Mastermind Group?”
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