Holiday Happiness or Holiday Blues?

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The holiday season is often a time of joy and happiness.  We spend time with those we love, attend events which promote the spirit of the season, and give thanks for the things in our lives which truly matter.  It can also be a time of increased sadness or anxiety.  We often miss those who are no longer with us more around this time of year and can get caught up in the “giving season”, even when we are burnt out.  

During this holiday season, I encourage you to be more aware of your thoughts and feelings and how you manage them.  I encourage you to engage in regular self-care and make decisions on what’s best for you and your mental health.  Attend events and spend time with those who make you happy!  Don’t be afraid to say no to events and/or people which bring you down or stress you out.  If you can’t totally avoid certain negative situations or people, then go into those events/situations with an exit plan and limit your time.  

Finding a balance in life can certainly be challenging, especially during the holiday season.  We are often pulled in many different directions which in turn can test us, both physically and mentally.   I encourage you to go for that walk, spend time with that person you’ve been meaning to call, take a break from work, etc.  You won’t regret it!  If your struggling with an issue, situation, or relationship I encourage you to seek out professional help.  Engaging in mental health treatment can also be a proactive endeavor vs a reactive one.  Just like you go to the gym to improve your physical health, you can engage in counseling services to improve your overall mental health at any point, not just when “things are bad.”  So, put yourself first this holiday season, as it will allow you to be more present for others.  It’s not being selfish, it’s self-care!  Find your balance.

One sure fire way to feel better and positive this holiday season is to give of yourself to others.  Volunteer, give to those less fortunate, or donate to a local charity.  I guarantee you won’t regret the time or money you spend on helping others!  I also guarantee engaging in such helping activities will have a positive impact on your mental well-being. 

Wishing you the best during this holiday season!

Dave 

mental health

“I started my professional career in the education field and transferred into social work in 2011.   I have always been drawn to “helping professions” which allow me to assist others.  My current full-time job is with the Department of Veteran Affairs where I help homeless Veteran’s on Cape Cod obtain and maintain housing.  My career path has led me to NPT HealthWorks where I hope to counsel individuals and/or couples who are looking to make a positive change in their mental health status.” 

 

The Journey to Ironman

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I recently completed my first full Ironman at Mont-Tremblant this past August. It was a 3 year journey, starting with a self-discovery trip to northern Italy where I first read Finding Ultra by Rich Roll while drinking red wine and crushing prosciutto and cheese. At the time, I was feeling a bit lost, overweight, and mentally & emotionally exhausted. Inspired by Rich Roll, upon returning to the states, I went mostly plant-based and started training a month later for my 1st triathlon. I couldn’t swim, disliked running, and had a road bike that was over 10 years old. No matter, I set the lofty goal of one day completing in an Ironman and now I’ve met that goal! 

I’ve enjoyed the journey, the growth emotionally, mentally, and physically. I’ve really enjoyed the relationships and sharing the experience with friends, family, coworkers, clients, and training partners. I hope most of all that I’ve inspired others along the way and shown that it’s never too late to set goals and continue to grow no matter how old we are or how low/lost we feel. Along the way you’ll find your best self. 

So far in 2019, I have also competed in the San Francisco Marathon, Patriot 70.3 triathlon,  Portland 10 miler, Newport 10 Miler, Newport Olympic Triathlon, and ran the NYC Marathon for charity this November. 3 years ago I couldn’t imagine doing any of these events. I think we all should set lofty goals in life and enjoy the process of working toward them. Along the way your life will change for the better whether or not you achieve your ultimate goal. You’ll be inspired while inspiring others around you.

Though we’re all on our personal health and wellness journey, it’s important to surround yourself with people who support you. At NPT HealthWorks, it’s what we’re passionate about. No matter how big or small, please use us as a reference for any questions, thoughts, comments you may have. 

– Dr. Dan

The Path to Health & Wellness

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The first half of my life I didn’t take very good care of myself. I abused, neglected and disrespected my body and mind. By the time I’d reached my early 30’s, I’d endured a series of bad relationships, had low self esteem and struggled with anxiety and depression, which plagued me since childhood. I was self medicating with drugs and drinking a bottle of wine a night. I lacked any ambition or purposeful feelings. I was numbly floating through life, wanting so much more, but not really sure what to do about it. 

My personal turning point was in 2013, at an Ashram in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Having reached my breaking point, I knew that what I currently was doing, was not making me a better person, and if I continued down that path, I would no-doubt kill myself, or harm someone else. I closed my eyes, and prayed for a sign to help me get out of my funk and unhealthy routines.  My heart spoke and that day I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. I had nothing else to lose.

During my 21 day training, through mindful meditation, yoga, healthful eating and the support of my wonderful teachers and fellow students, I began chipping away at the walls I had created around my heart and my life. I sat with my fears and anxieties, my insecurities and flaws, and learned to love and nurture myself, and to forgive and let go what was not contributing to a healthy lifestyle (mentally and physically). While there, we were provided only with “real food” – delicious and nutritious meals that were easy to digest and filled with the nutrients and vitamins our bodies crave. My mood lifted and my mind cleared. I left lighter and less anxious. More importantly, I wasn’t sluggish and irritable or depressed and numb.

At the completion of my training, it was like I was seeing the world through new eyes. Of all the lessons that journey taught me, the most powerful is that happiness is a verb. With every mindful thought, every nutritious bite, and through every positive action we take, we can secure that state of being for life.

Committing to this new way of life has brought me clarity and energy. Inspired by my experience at Shoshoni Yoga Retreat, I ramped up my fitness goals and became a certified Spinning instructor. Inspired by the way wholesome and nutritious foods made me feel mentally and physically, I became a chef for professional sailing teams; feeding athletes while strengthening my craft by incorporating cuisine from all over the world. I dove head first into all things health and wellness, ultimately enrolling in the Institute of Integrated Nutrition. Once I started to see and feel the amazing positive changes happening to me and around me, becoming a certified Health Coach came naturally. I want to share and bestow these healthy concepts and help those who struggle realize that a better way is within their reach. I want to help you empower you, all the ways to heal yourself, mind and body, and leave behind the fatigue and stress that tries to hold us down. I have been there and understand how stressful and overwhelming it can be and how bad habits feel impossible to break. But if I can do it, you can too, and I am here to show you the way.