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The Minimum Daily Requirement--or what's a kid gotta do?

July 24, 2015

Yesterday, the kid was feeling a bit droopy, fatigued and slightly blue. I told him to drink a glass of water--and he cracked up. He said, "Emah (Mom), you think EVERYTHING can be solved by drinking water!"


And I had to laugh.


Indeed, I do think MOST things can be solved by taking a moment to pause, drink some water, and then go on...but the kid's teasing prompted me to ask myself, "What do we need for a happy, fulfilled life?"


And here's what I came up with.


1. Drink lots of water

Ok, laugh if you want, but the kid is right. This is at the top of my list! Why? Because 75% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated, meaning that we experience headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and lack of mental clarity...for starters. And coffee and soda DO NOT COUNT.


Sometimes the first step in confronting a situation is, literally, to have a glass of water so we can think straight.


2. Sleep for at least 7 hours a night

This is second on my list because not sleeping enough makes me cranky and not my best self. It also increases our risk of stroke, obesity, car accident, heart attack and raises stress levels.


Literally 'sleeping on it' can help all of us feel like we are better able to cope with life on life's terms.


3. Commune with Nature

I love hiking and one of may favorite things to do it to take the kid out to Marin and spend some time in the trees, overlooking the ocean. Something about the grand skies and whispering leaves fills quiets my soul and literally calms me. According to studies, I am not alone. In fact, people who spent time in nature had improved cognitive function...and those who camped increased their creativity by 50%.


Those of you who know me know that I'm not about to go camping, but spending time in nature is certainly on my list.


4. Exercise every day

Yes, we hear this all the time. And we know that daily exercise is good for our hearts and our waistline...what I've found is that exercising daily brings me back to my body. It makes me feel more energetic, more attractive, more alive...and more sexy. It lifts my mood and clears my mind.


And I can do it every day, do why wouldn't I?


5. Dwell in gratitude

I get to decide how I see the world. Many things happen during my day that might not be to my liking...and many things happen during my day that I DO like, and I get to choose what I focus on. I choose to focus on gratitude, starting each day by listing OUT LOUD to my husband what I am grateful for that day, and then setting an intention for the day. Starting my day out with gratitude helps me shift my focus from the BEGINNING to what's good and rich in my life, to what I treasure and how blessed I am.


According to studies, dwelling in gratitude increases our receptivity to others, creates empathy, improves physical and psychological health and raises self esteem. What I know is that it makes me feel good in my own life.


6. Cultivate meaningful relationships

Here's my announcement: I am on an active search for more meaningful relationships in my life. And I am auditioning EVERYONE...the woman I met at the Goodwill who I now go to dinner with, the mom I traded book recommendations with at Books Inc. in Laurel Village, the other students in my coaching classes, the lovely young woman with the blue streaks in her hair at the TJs near my house...EVERYONE. Because I know that meaningful relationships--relationships where both parties feel seen and valued and known--make me feel absolutely amazing.


Now I already have some yummy friends, like my co-conspirator in the PTA all those years ago who now is totally my walking partner, friend, and sister of the heart. Or my business partner and fellow coach who I work so effortlessly with and whose opinion I value so much. But there's always room for more because having meaningful friendships promotes better health, a lower incidence of depression, better cognitive function and helps us live longer!


7. Life Purpose

Now this last one--finding and working towards your life purpose--is the piece that can skyrocket life from satisfying to spectacular and alive and THRIVING! Finding my life purpose gave me the clarity to determine what I wanted to do in the world, and helped me say no to what didn't fit. It gave me the ruler by which to measure choices and gave me the tools to energize my world.


And, of course, researchers agree. Finding purpose helps us live longer, feel more connected, and be fulfilled--and we can be a part of changing the world, one choice at a time.



If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post here or email me at Visit me at to learn more about me.


Thanks for reading!




Chronic Dehydration

Lack of sleep

Communing with Nature

Daily exercise:


Meaningful relationships

Life Purpose:


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