Surviving to Thriving

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Each month I happily publish a healthy living column in my neighborhood's magazine, Kingsbury Living.

We have a fabulous community and I am grateful to share my experiences and expertise with dear neighbors and fellow friends. Take a peak below to view March's article, "Surviving to Thriving."

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“In this world you're either growing or you're dying so get in motion and grow.” ― Lou Holtz


As humans, we are meant to grow, and learn, not just endure. There is a distinct difference between thriving and surviving. Surviving means, “to continue to live or exist,” while thriving can be defined as “to prosper, or flourish.” 

We all have the goal of thriving, yet the majority of us are still just making it through the day. Why do we just keep on keeping on? Perhaps it’s habit, mindset, circumstances, and fear of the unknown.

What I do know is it takes a deliberate decision and sometimes a crisis to create positive change in your life. 

How do you know you need to make a change without having a life-altering event? 
Maybe you a have a nagging sense there is something bigger you were meant to do. Perhaps you want to start some self-exploration, try a new hobby, or to let go of unhealthy habits. You feel there is a better way than accumulating things, paying bills and living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Some simple starter steps to start thriving. (I said simple…not easy!)

  1. Make time for activities that connect with your core values: One of the first exercises I do with my clients is clarifying their core values before making any decisions. It is critical to define these so you are spending your resources in a meaningful way. Examine your current obligations and ask yourself if it aligns with your core values and goals? Take guilt out of the equation. Thinking you are a bad person for saying no will likely lead to additional stress and resentment.
  2. Surround yourself with other thrivers: We fall right in the middle of the five people we hang out with most. When you surround yourself with colleagues and friends who have big ideas and are doing something to make them happen, it motivates you to keep moving towards what you want. 
  3. Make sleep a priority: The biggest factor in the quality of our lives is the quality of our sleep. Most adults need 7-8 hours and children and teenagers need a lot more. You will know when you are not getting enough sleep: you lack clarity, you eat more, you gain weight, you lack patience, you are often sick. Good sleep hygiene includes removing the TV from your bedroom, establishing a bedtime routine, avoiding any screen time 1 hour before bed. You can even try using lavender essential oil. 

Here are a few quick fixes to get you started on a thriving path

  • Grab a book by someone who inspires you.
  • Listen to a podcast or webinar.
  • Do something that scares you.
  • Spend time every day in nature. 
  • Take a class or attend a retreat.

Finally, I really encourage you to not let time be an excuse. Sometimes we have to be willing to give up something in order to get what we want. Maybe you give up one extra volunteer commitment, time on social media, or watching TV. Consider reducing the number of activities your kids are involved in. I am astounded how many times I witness parents carting their kids to multiple activities, but they won’t spend the time and money on taking care of themselves. Find the balance that supports the growth and well-being of every family member.  Nothing is better for your children than to see you happy and healthy!