• Fresh Views

    Have a Healthier Inside by Getting Outside

    Beautiful nature trail covered in flowers, Santa Barbara, CA

    The physician treats, but nature heals. – Hippocrates

    Get into the Great Outdoors

    Did you know that June is Great Outdoors Month? This month-long celebration is dedicated to exploring, appreciating and celebrating the diverse landscapes across the United States. In our last blog we closed with encouraging clients/patients to get outside to cultivate zest. Expanding on that, in “blue zones”, which are regions of the world where people  have a longer life expectancy and lower rates of chronic disease than average, a big part of lifestyle is getting outside. It’s well-documented that just 20 minutes outside changes the entire biochemistry of the body, and experiencing nature is free! 

    The EPA (2021) reports that Americans spend an average of 90-94% of their time indoors. We recently learned that the American Medical Association is actually looking at a “nature deficit disorder”. Author Richard Louv, advocate for a nature-rich life, encourages that getting out in nature gives “a booster shot of Vitamin N (nature)” as he calls it. Interestingly in Canada, providers are giving out National Park Pass “prescriptions” to get people outside.

    Experiencing the great outdoors brings mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and social benefits. It helps regulate sleep and circadian rhythm, and Vitamin D production. Whether taking a walk, or just taking in the great outdoors, studies show that simply being in nature boosts energy. It also benefits the ADCES self-care behaviors of Healthy Coping and Being Active. Check out our past blog on the benefits of being in nature

    Here are 8 tips to make the most of experiencing the great outdoors:

    1. Practice presence and mindfulness. Be fully present in the moment on purpose.
    2. Keep it simple – just walk outside and sit on the steps.
    3. Find something you enjoy in nature – maybe it’s watching birds.
    4. Take a few more steps to help improve balance and flexibility.
    5. Go outside with someone or a pet – be social.
    6. Dig in the soil, even a flower pot or raised container. It is therapeutic.
    7. Express gratitude for the sights and sounds you experience.
    8. Get back out as often as you can and imprint what you see.

    If there are periods where you aren’t able to be outside, bring the outside in! Here are 5 of our favorites:

    1. Surround yourself with plants (real or artificial) and natural materials.
    2. Open the blinds and let in daylight.
    3. Try using a light machine to expose yourself to full spectrum light.
    4. Play nature sounds on a sound machine or YouTube (such as chirping birds, babbling brook, rain, ocean waves).
    5. Experience nature virtually through nature scene videos on YouTube.

    We have been experiencing the great outdoors ourselves and thought you would enjoy a peek at some of the scenes that have inspired us recently!

    Morning dawning on Valhalla golf course where Tami went to the PGA tournament
    The great outdoors Tami experienced at Saguaro National Park in Tucson, AZ 

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Z is for Zest

    Zest for life in Sedona, Arizona

    Individuals are always stronger when they have their successes and strengths clearly in mind.

    ~ Don Clifton, founder of CliftonStrengths

    The letter “Z” is said to be used in less than 1% of words – the least frequently used letter in the English language. While not planned, it seems fitting that “Z”, the last letter of the alphabet, should close out our last post in the “A to Z series” on solution-focused words to live by and use in practice (find the start of the series here if you missed it).  And we’ve identified the perfect “Z” word to pull it all together….

    Z is for Zest!

    We’re not talking about the zest of a lemon or lime, or Zest soap from back in the day!  We’re talking about the zest that signifies an energizing excitement or feeling of energy and joy. Zest is related to physical and psychological wellness. Those with zest are excited to get up in the morning.

    Bringing zest to your solution-focused practice can boost a client/patient’s morale, promote personal development, and play a role in just being kind to others. You can also help them realize, cultivate, and activate this strength.

    4 ways to bring more zest

    1- Adopt a “progress not perfection” mindset.  A “progress, not perfection” mindset can help us lean into the realistic and practical, and acknowledge, accept and enjoy things…even if they aren’t perfect. It encourages focus on smaller achievements…instead of focusing solely on the end goal. It allows getting things done in a quality manner without fixating on an ideal outcome that might not necessarily happen (read more here). The feeling of moving ahead and making progress boosts zest.

    2 – Switch up your perspective by reframing.  One example of reframing is viewing a problem differently by turning it into a challenge, looking at it from different angles, reimagining the situation, and identifying potential solutions. Reframing is a simple and impactful tool to use in taking a solution-focused approach to life with your clients (or in your own life). Learn more about the power of reframing here and here.

    3- Make the most of your time. Guilty as charged of often spending too much time scrolling through social media, news outlets, funny cat videos, and life hacks! Do you ever find clients/patients, or yourself, in a similar situation? What if those 2-3 hours a day of mindless scrolling were spent working towards something you are passionate about, building zest!
    4- Spend time in nature. Encourage clients/patients to get outside to cultivate zest. Whether taking a walk, or just taking in the great outdoors, studies show that simply being in nature boosts energy. Check out our blog on the benefits of being in nature.

    Thanks for coming along in our A to Z journey towards solution-focused thinking. We’ve enjoyed identifying creative ways to re-frame our thinking in our day-to-day lives and our work through this series.

    Cultivating zest as a strength creates opportunity for your clients/patients to thrive!

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    X is for X-Factor

    “Dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth.” ~ William Purkey

    Princess Diana, definately had the X-Factor!

    In our last post we celebrated that we only had three letters left in the alphabet to complete our A to Z series on solution-focused words to live by and use in practice. After sharing about the “unbothered” mindset for the letter U, we are now down to two letters, X and Z. Today is the letter X, and exploring the “ X-Factor”.

    What is the X-Factor?

    Have you ever met someone that was so easy to talk to, was truly engaged and interested in you and your discussion, and just genuinely enjoyable to be around? You might say they had a charismatic personality. They are someone you will remember, someone you’d like to spend more time with. Their magnetism may motivate, inspire optimism and hope, and move those around them. They have something that may be hard to describe. They just have “it”…..that “it” is the X-Factor. Princess Diana, pictured above definitely had the X-Factor. And we have several Diabetes Care & Education Specialist colleagues that immediately come to mind when we think of the X-Factor! 

    While brushing up on the X-Factor we identified some similarities to solution-focused tenets and practices we’ve written about before. 

    3 areas where we see overlap with an X-Factor personality and solution-focused life/practice:

    1. See “challenges” instead of “problems”.

    A key element of a solution-focused life is focusing on Solutions instead of problems. Individuals who have the X-Factor embrace this thinking, and instead of seeing “problems” before them, they see “challenges”. They strive to make the best of what is in front of them and not waste energy on things they have no control over. They can see the world through a different lens and create a  Fresh Point of View. If the world seems to have turned upside down, they see an opportunity to change their view, be grateful for the view, and come out on the other side with new solutions. This frame of thinking can be empowering to those around them.

    1. Focus on what’s important.

    Those with the X-Factor personality fully embrace NOW. They see the present for what it is. They are able to break big challenges into smaller, digestible steps with focus on the here and now, and what’s important. They leave tomorrow’s challenges to another day. 

    As we’ve written about before, one way to focus on the important aspects of life is to use Reframing. Reframing is a simple and impactful tool that brings looking at a challenge from different angles, reimagining the situation, and identifying potential solutions. It helps identify “exceptions” (times when things were going well), so one can “do more of that”, instead of focusing on what’s wrong or not working. VIPs (the very important people in life) can be helpful in identifying opportunities for reframing as they know the individual and their habits well. 

    Another tool to keep focus on what’s important, is “imprinting”. We shared how to imprint in 5 easy steps here. When life is challenging (or just downright hard and painful), turning thoughts back to happy moments and picturesque views is a powerful reminder in the present.

    1. Embrace who you are.

    An important characteristic of the X-Factor personality is embracing who you are. Having self-confidence and not caring so much what others think, or desiring their approval. Focusing on strengths, and maybe even embracing humor to not take oneself too seriously. 

    We hope that our readers now know that when they encounter someone with “it”, they have met an X-Factor! Embrace that X-Factor, learn from them, and appreciate how you feel when you’re around them.

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    U if for Unbothered: Do you desire to live unbothered?

    After waiting in the drive through unbothered, and arriving back home, the coffee cup sleeve fell off the cup and there was this message underneath.

    Unbothered people don’t allow their happiness to be determined by the actions of others.

    ~Unknown

    Words are incredibly powerful. Think about it…just one positive or negative word can affect another person’s whole day. It can build someone up, or bring someone down. Through the course of writing our blog, engaging in research, and connecting with the diabetes community, over the past 5 years we have compiled words that align with the tenets of a solution-focused approach to care and education. Words spoken by people with diabetes in surveys, research, and focus groups. Words expressed during Twitter chats. Words written in papers.  To that end, a few years back  we wrote about the importance of words here. We pondered…How can we draw attention to these words and have them easily flow into conversations between diabetes care and education specialists and our clients? As a step in that direction, we wrote an entire series of blogs focused on some of these key words that inspire solution-focused thinking. 

    With the beginning of this new year, we decided to take inventory of the solution-focused words that we’ve addressed throughout the life of this blog, comparing them to the alphabet. To our surprise, the only letters missing were letters U, X, and Z. Those of you that know us, know we must finish what we start, and that we love a good challenge! So here we go! 

    U is for Unbothered

    The unbothered mindset is a powerful tool to navigate the challenges or inconveniences (minor or major) of life. It can help bring peace amidst chaos and help face challenges with courage. Let’s be clear – living unbothered is NOT about NOT caring. It’s actually about caring deeply to know what truly matters and letting go of what doesn’t. 

    Becoming an “unbothered” person can change everything. An unbothered person is one who has learned how to be unbothered by things that bother most people. It’s recognized that living unbothered can foster:

    We’ve been putting this solution-focused tenet into practice… 

    Living unbothered takes consistent practice. And in no way are we perfect at this, but we’re trying: Unbothered by waiting in the self-checkout behind someone with an entire cart of groceries, chatting on the phone with no sense of urgency. Unbothered by bottleneck rush hour traffic in the pouring rain. Unbothered by a friend taking longer to answer a text than we think it should take.

    Sure, it could be easy to get wound up about any of those situations. And without a doubt, it’s difficult to be happy when you’re bothered by what’s going on around you, what others think of you, and how you react to it.  Living unbothered means there are more important things to worry about. We’ve found that adopting the unbothered lens, means less stress and anxiety – and more peace.

    We challenge you this week to Slow down. Be present. Be mindful. Becoming unbothered is a journey, not a destination. Let us know how it’s going.

    Drop back by to check out our next two posts and how we tackle letters “X” and “Z”!

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    30 Moments of Joy

    Glencoe, Scotland

    Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.

    ~Henri J.M. Nouwen

    Joy can be really big crazy happiness, or it can be a tiny spot of light in the darkness. The thing is, you have to be able to realize and register joy. Joy is in the moment. Read our past blog on finding Joy here.

    30 Moments of Joy Challenge

    Each day for 1 month identify 1 moment that brings you light and joy…it can be the tiniest thing and quickest moment. For example, here’s a  few we’ve experienced over the last month: 

    • seeing sparkling snow dusted roofs on the drive to work
    • seeing a picture from our past travels to Scotland pop up in my social media memories (see above)
    • hearing a favorite song play on the radio
    • kitty purring in my ear
    • catching up with highschool friends over coffee
    • A beautiful whimsical handmade birthday card 
    • the view of the mountains covered in snow
    Deb’s favorite place to walk on the weekends when home is Folsom Lake. She finds joy when she views the mountains from Tahoe.

    Above mentioned birthday card!

    Deb’s cat Nike bringing her joy every day.

    Thinking back on favorite joyful moments can trigger some of that same joyful energy. In this new year, practice Intentionality on recognizing and acknowledging those moments – staying as present as possible in the moment (even when the moment may stink) to not miss out on these moments. Are you taking in your surroundings? Are you really listening to your friend? Are you tasting the steaming cup of coffee?

    What steps can you take today to increase your chances of experiencing joy?

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    2024: Do more of what’s already working

    Do more of what’s already working for you. – Salil Jha

    Thanks for reading, whether you are new to our blog or have been following us over the last 5 years (yes 5 years!). We are solution-focused diabetes care and education specialists who are passionate about doing diabetes care and education differently. Too much of life is spent focusing on problems. Instead, we believe in turning attention to possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future. We see the benefit in stepping alongside our clients as “think partners” to focus on what’s important to them, what’s already going well, and build upon that to reach their goals so that they may live life to the fullest. We invite you to join us in doing the same!

    Our Goal in 2024

    Our goal this year is to provide more fresh points of view to guide and support healthcare professionals in implementing a solution-focused approach to practice so clients can embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future. 

    New Year’s Solutions (Instead of Resolutions)

    The beginning of a new year typically sparks the conversation around what am I going to do better or do differently this year…with many arriving at New Year’s Resolutions. New year’s resolutions often focus on  “stopping” doing certain things and starting to make changes. What if, instead of making New Year’s Resolutions – which require change and “fixing” problems  –  you focus instead on making New Year’s Solutions? One way to identify solutions is to focus on things that have gone well in the past, and pinpoint how you can do more of that (rather than trying to change). 

    Fill an empty jar

    To put this into practice throughout 2024, start the year with an empty jar.  Each week add a note to it with a good thing that happened…something that went well.  Whether you call it a message jar, happiness jar, or don’t call it anything at all, on next New Year’s Eve empty the jar and read about the amazing year you had. Not only does this simple practice allow you to identify and build upon things that are working in the present, at year’s end you can then reflect on how you can continue to do more of what works.

    So as we look with excitement to 2024, join us in making New Year’s Solutions and doing more of the things that you do well!

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Cheers to the New Year!

    Cheers to 2024 from us here at A Fresh POV for You! We’re ringing in the new year and taking time to be mindful and express gratitude for all that 2023 brought. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with more fresh points of view to guide and support healthcare professionals in implementing a solution-focused approach to practice so clients can embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future. In the meantime, see below a few things we each were grateful for in 2023.

    3 highlights Tami is expressing gratitude for from 2023:

    Exploring Michigan on a 10-day road trip with my husband & this sunset view of Lake Michigan

    Disco-themed Picnic with the Pops with friends – rocking our Disco accessories here!

    Farm fresh eggs from my son and daughter-in-law’s Prairie Bluebell Egger chickens

    3 highlights Deb is expressing gratitude for from 2023:

    Celebrating the wedding of my oldest son Michael and Elizabeth

    Combining a work trip to Germany with some fun traveling with my daughter, Diana.

    Celebrating an early 90th birthday with my mom!

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    May Your Holidays Be Merry and Bright!

    Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season from us here at A Fresh POV for You!

    A stop at The Drake Hotel in Chicago – always beautiful during the holidays!

    We’re taking a few weeks off but will be back in the new year with more fresh points of view to guide and support healthcare professionals in implementing a solution-focused approach to practice so clients can embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future. 

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Be REAL Series: L is for LISTENING

    In our personal lives, one of our favorite places to be still and listen is oceanside

    Be present in all things, and thankful for all things.

    ~ Maya Angelou

    Today we wrap up a 4-blog series called, “Be REAL”, revisiting 4 powerful words from our 2020 series on the power of words. Here are the 4 words that make-up the acronym REAL, today closing out with LISTENING.

    Today’s word in our Be REAL series  is LISTENING 

    The only way to listen is to be truly present and in the moment. Often, as healthcare professionals (HCPs)  we have our “agenda” or “very important information” that we feel needs to be addressed, discussed, and prioritized. However, our clients/patients goals and priorities may be different than ours. Sometimes the best course of action is to be quiet, and to listen. In that moment we are present in the encounter, we hear what people are saying, we can then address their most pressing concerns, fears and challenges. Granted, this can be a challenge for an HCP (ourselves included) with so much information that we want to impart. The reality is that when we have our agenda in our head and are planning our “presentation of facts” we are not present. 

    Check out our previous post on Listening and how it can transform interactions. Engaging in a solution-focused approach is not possible without enhanced listening skills. Our role is not to solve problems, but to help people understand their individual situations and identify solutions to help them move forward in their lives, goals etc. When we listen, we can help them to discern what works for them, and help them to see where they have strengths.

    As we challenged back in 2020, we challenge our readers to actively focus on listening before speaking with clients and ensure each encounter is focused on their concerns and what is important to them:

    1. Listen for clues and cues that highlight exceptions, current resources and strengths the client identifies. Maybe open the conversation with a simple question, such as, “What’s been going on in your world?” It’s broad, enables the client to take the conversation where they wish, and can provide insight into other aspects and impacts in their life.
    2. As the conversation evolves, use the clients own language to help the client envision their preferred future

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

  • Fresh Views

    Be REAL Series: A is for ACCEPTANCE

    Duke Kahanamoku statue at Duke’s restaurant, La Jolla, CA

    When there is Aloha in your heart, nothing is insurmountable.

    ~ Yoshio

    Today’s word in our Be REAL series  is Acceptance!

    When we started our series on solution-focused words back in 2020, Acceptance was our first post in the series. We believed, and still do, that acceptance is the key underpinning of everything in healthcare and in life. We wrote about both self-acceptance as well as healthcare professional (HCP) acceptance of what people living with diabetes are able to do. We all have different capacities and priorities, and we might not agree on what these are. Our role as an HCP is to understand and support people sharing their experiences with us and help them to live in acceptance of the decisions they make. Our goal is to support and not enforce.

    Why did we start our blog with an image of Duke Kahanamoku?  He was known as the Ambassador of Aloha. An Olympic swimmer and surfer from Hawaii who spread the spirit of Aloha and the acceptance that Aloha brings. Aloha means welcome, but also means love, peace, compassion and  fellowship. What a great way to embody acceptance?

    In today’s crazy world, acceptance can mean so many things. So we’d like to use Aloha as a simple way to think about how we accept ourselves and each other.

    In our original blog series we suggested weekly “challenges” to our readers.  Here we revisit our challenge from 2020 and add how we can position acceptance along with the spirit of Aloha.

    Here are 5 solution-focused questions you can incorporate to focus on building acceptance:

    1. Could  you tell me about your strengths and qualities you are happy about?
    2. What is one thing you have come to accept in your life that took some time to process?
    3. How did you feel when you were finally able to accept that challenging situation?
    4. How could you use those experiences and feelings to move you forward to accept a new challenge now?
    5. How can I help you come to realize acceptance in your life?

    As an additional challenge, we encourage you to accept the spirit of Aloha as you engage in your daily life,at work and at home, with people you know and with those you don’t. Be an example of accepting differences in the world with love, peace, compassion and fellowship.

    Join us next week as we focus on the L in Be REAL: Listening!

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

    Follow us on Twitter @AFreshPOVforYou

    Deb is employed by Dexcom, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.

    Tami is employed by the University of Kentucky HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, but her words and opinions in this blog are her own.