• Fresh Views

    Benefits of Being in Nature

    Teton mountain range in Wyoming

    Nature itself is the best physician.– Hippocrates

    Given that our blog posts are called “Fresh Views”, we are always on the lookout for opportunities to experience these views first hand. You may have read a previous blog where we talked about “imprinting” these fresh views so they’ll stay with us forever. Given the season, we wanted to share some of the benefits we find in nature by sharing some beautiful photos from our time in the great outdoors that have allowed us to reduce our anxiety, improve our mood, and promote a sense of calm for both of us.

    With summer in full swing, we’re both enjoying the opportunity to spend more time in nature. Did you know that there are many benefits of being in nature? Whether for an hour, a day or a week, we find so many benefits spending time in nature. And there is actually scientific evidence that identifies many beneficial effects from spending time in nature and the impact it has on health, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving one’s mental health, and promoting healing. Studies show that 120 minutes spread out over the week may be the ideal amount of time. 

    While we both love our dramatic mountain scenery and listening to the ocean waves crash on the sand, even a local park or garden can do the trick. Any place that gives your mind a break, provides time to reflect on what’s going well for you, gives you the freedom to think of other things in your life that are also going well, and consider how you can do more of that. We find that our mood immediately improves and our sense of self improves.

    Tami and her husband spent some time in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks earlier this summer. Surreal beauty. Coincidentally, Deb is headed to Grand Teton later this summer too.

    Yellowstone National Park

    The cool breeze, peace, and reflection of the mountains was so calming and brought a smile to their faces. This was definitely an image they  imprinted.

    Yellowstone National Park thermal hot spring

    On this trip, Tami and Mike got far more than recommended 120 minutes of being in nature! The thermal hot springs are fascinating and offer other-worldly beauty! Focusing on them and the mountains provided a mental break from the demands of daily life.

    A mother goose protecting her 6 babies under her wings from the rain. Don’t miss the couple of curious goslings sticking their heads out!

    Sunrise in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

    Sunrise in Jackson Hole, Wyoming over a creek where otters were playing. A time to reflect on and appreciate the many sights from the day prior, think about other things in life that are going well, and look forward to what the current day will bring.

    Deb is fortunate to have a California State Park at the end of her street.  She enjoys weekend morning walks along Folsom Lake. On a clear day she can see the  snowy mountains from Lake Tahoe in the distance, and in the spring the lavender Lupine super bloom is often breathtaking. Taking these walks really gives her mind a break and provides an opportunity to reflect and simply enjoy the beauty of nature so readily in her reach.

    View of Sierra Nevada Mountain Range from Folsom Lake, CA
    Lupine Super Bloom, along the shores of Folsom Lake, CA

    And when summer arrives and the lake is full, there is nothing better than being in a boat on the lake, anchoring in a cove, and enjoying the cool water on a hot 105 degree June day. It’s amazing how relaxing with the beautiful scenery around you can really promote calm and lift one’s mood almost instantaneously.

    Enjoying a later afternoon boat ride and a dip in the cool water on a 105 degree day

    While Deb and Mark really look forward to their week in Wyoming and viewing the majesty of the Grand Tetons, they appreciate the nature that is nearby that can provide a much needed respite from the daily grind of life.

    We hope these images of nature have inspired you to find rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation with nature this summer, whether near or far.

    If you would like to try to imprint the images you see, follow these easy steps:

    1. When you find yourself gazing at a striking view or in a most memorable uplifting  moment…pause. Be present in the moment.
    2. Take a deep breath in and a cleansing breath out.
    3. Gaze at the view – noting where you are and who you are with. Take in colors, lighting, sounds, smells (maybe even taste if it’s food or beverage related).
    4. Then take time to appreciate and acknowledge what you see before you and are experiencing (many liken this to having an “attitude of gratitude”).
    5. Allow that view or moment – every detail – along with those positive feelings to etch into your mind’s eye so you can recall them in 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 and Instagram @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

    Summer 2022 Fresh Views

    Happy Summer from us here @A Fresh POV for you as we break to refresh and recharge! We continue towards our Mission to guide healthcare professionals in a solution-focused approach so clients can embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a fresh vision for the future. You will not want to miss our next post on highlights from the upcoming American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions! 

    If you’ve followed our blog, you know that we enjoy sharing a fresh inspiring view with each post. Here are a few fresh views that we have enjoyed this summer! 

    Tami’s visit to Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee
    View from a favorite local winery near Deb in Lincoln, CA
    Stunning roadside waterfall in Townsend, Tennessee
    View over San Diego marina
    Tami never tires of sunset views from her Kentucky home

    We hope you enjoyed these beautiful “Fresh Views” as much as we did! And we hope you are enjoying your summer.

    If you have any suggestions regarding future blog topics or series please let us know!

    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 and Instagram @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

    Take a pause to gain a fresh perspective

    Photo taken on one of Tami’s pauses

    When life gets crazy, as it often does for us, a strategy that we @AFreshPOVforYOU find particularly useful is taking a pause or break to help clear our minds and gain a fresh perspective. It could be a half hour, an afternoon, a day, or a week. Tami has found that when her mind is jumbled or she’s trying to work out a problem, taking a walk allows her to think, her creative juices to flow, and to gain a fresh perspective. (And sometimes even happen upon a stunning sunset view like the one above captured on a recent walk). Deb enjoys sitting outside in her backyard, enjoying the view of the trees, flowers and clear water in the pool.  Even getting away from our desks and out of the office at lunch brings clarity and new thinking. We’ve found when we’re hit with “writer’s block”, just putting the project away for a day or two allows us to return with a clearer mind, new ideas and new perspective. Clients we’ve worked with have shared a variety of things they do to take a pause – from taking a long run, reading a pleasure book, mowing the yard, or simply sitting and being present in the moment, Taking that pause can change your perspective….much like “turning turtle” can. You can read more about “turning turtle” in our January 30, 2019 blog.

    Have you tried stepping away for a bit when you’re in the midst of a challenge? Maybe you’re struggling with insurance benefits and getting your medication prescription filled, or maybe a co-worker questioned the food you were eating at lunch. (we know that never happens!) Taking a pause may sound counterproductive, but actually it’s not. As you step away, spend a moment acknowledging all the hard work you have done. Remind yourself  what you’ve accomplished or what is going well, even though it may feel like the world is swirling around you.

    The practice of using solutions focused brief therapy (SFBT) encourages the exercise of asking questions when trying to identify solutions. A key premise of SFBT is that the individual is the only person who can understand his or her own needs, strengths and capabilities. The practitioner can facilitate by asking questions. One opportunity to incorporate the practice of asking questions is during these moments when you need to pause and step away.

    Here are 3 questions to consider to help guide your thinking and help gain perspective:

    1. Compliment yourself on your current efforts.  What would you say to yourself?
    2. What good intentions did you have when you started out today?
    3. What is the most important quality you have and use when you are under stress or pressure and how can you leverage that now?

    Asking yourself these questions when your mind is calm, and you are not distracted can help remind you of the resources you have within you and re-focus on your strengths.

    We often find that the more challenging the season in life, the more often we need to pause. It’s an important part of self-care. Sometimes just stepping away from a situation for awhile helps to bring a fresh perspective.

    Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published! 
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Fresh Views

    Reframing: One way to bring a fresh perspective

    Our key to transforming anything lies in our ability to reframe it.  – Marianne Williamson

    Reframe by definition means, “to look at, present, or think of in a new or different way or from a different perspective.”  We can change the way we look at something and consequently change how we experience it. Reframing is not simply “positive thinking” – it is different. It is a technique to help view a behavior or situation in a more positive context that allows recognizing and appreciating positive aspects of the situation. The facts remain the same, but a deliberate shift is made in how we see it. Reframing helps us to use whatever life hands us as opportunities to be taken advantage of and live life more fully, rather than problems to be avoided.

    Reframing a situation, idea, or belief can bring a fresh perspective. In illustration, this week Tami found herself at a dead standstill in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic. All she wanted was to just get home. Ever been there? The stress started to rise, until she intentionally made the decision to reframe the situation. Rather than focusing on the sea of red brake lights, and viewing the traffic jam as a stressful “problem,” she reframed it as an “opportunity.” An opportunity to pause after a stressful day. An opportunity to catch the dramatic sunset you see in the picture below. And an opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on her situation. “Problem” has a heavy quality to it, while “challenging” is energizing. Our energy can be affected by a simple change of word.

    By the way, what do you see in the clouds? Many have shared that they see a Phoenix, the mythical, magical bird that lives for several hundred years before it dies and is reborn from the ashes, to start a new, long life. Such powerful symbolism. Could reframing help you to start a new life, so to speak, with a fresh perspective?

    Reframing can even enable you to implement the ancient wisdom that says – you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can certainly control how you react to it. Beyond reframing a “problem” as an “opportunity” for change, here are a few other examples of reframing:

    • A “weakness” as a “strength”
    • A “demanding” person as an “assertive” person
    • “Unkindness” as “lack of understanding”
    • An “impossibility” as a “possibility”

    In reflecting on clients we’ve worked with over the years, a multitude of times we’ve heard them reframe a diabetes diagnosis from a “problem” to an “opportunity.” An opportunity to  eat healthy, be more active, or lose a few pounds. Some clients have new, close friends or even new jobs, because they have diabetes. Living with diabetes encouraged them to change their focus in life.  Looking at life through a positive reframe certainly doesn’t mean ignoring the stress and pain that life may bring, but it does help deal with the challenges by seeing them in a different light and from a fresh perspective. It transforms a less than desirable situation into a worthy purpose. Reframing gives you an opportunity to neutralize negative feelings and be more action-oriented.

    Reframing is a tool you already have in your tool belt. By implementing the powerful tool of reframing, we can find resources we didn’t realize we had, and continue to move forward becoming more resilient. We can be inspired to keep our attitude strong and hopeful. In closing, here are some characteristics of resilient people:

    • Awareness
    • Perseverance
    • Internal locus of control
    • Optimism
    • Support
    • Sense of humor
    • Perspective

    We’ll revisit reframing in January, and how to use this tool to make New Year’s Solutions (rather than New Year’s Resolutions).

  • Fresh Views

    Relax and renew

    Happy Holidays from @AFreshPOVforYou (Tami and Deb)!

    We are taking a holiday break to enjoy time with family and friends.  We’ll be doing some traveling too and looking for some fresh views to share with you in the New Year.

    We hope you too can take a break, enjoy some downtime, relax and renew (like Nike here under the tree).

    Nike relaxing under the tree

    We’ll be back with a new blog post on January 2, 2019!

  • Fresh Views

    Seeing with new eyes!

    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes. – Marcel Proust

    Have you ever felt “at anchor in the harbor,” floating in a particular place,  prevented from moving anywhere by the proverbial boat anchor and obstacles surrounding you?  Patients and clients living with diabetes that we’ve worked with over the years have frequently shared that managing diabetes leaves them weighted down by the challenges they face moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day. These challenges in turn may lead to feeling stagnant, immovable, with no obvious way to move forward. With that said, the harbor photo taken this week during a pause in the Thanksgiving holiday travels, brought us @AFreshPOVforYou to take a moment and reflect on the above words of Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.”

    What if rather than focusing on the obstacles and what’s immediately around you, instead you look up. You look about. You see with new eyes. You see the bigger picture (and maybe even a stunning sunset!). When we @AFreshPOVforYou incorporate solution focused brief therapy into life with diabetes, we guide clients to focus on the “desired future,” rather than on past or current problems.  We help people take small steps to move in the direction of that desired future – much like pulling up the anchor and setting sail to see what might be possible with new eyes. As Ann Bodmer Lutz, the author of Learning Solution-Focused Therapy notes, “Solutions for patients are not scientific puzzles to be solved by practitioners, but rather changes in perceptions.”  

    Think about a time when you’ve had success and recall:


    • What was different then?
    • How did you feel?
    • What were you doing or seeing in yourself?
    • What were your perceptions of things then?
    • How can you change your perception today so you can move forward again?


    Stay tuned to future blog posts as we share stories of success.

    Wherever holiday travels take you, we encourage you to take a pause and look around you with new eyes. Then acknowledge and be thankful for any fresh views, beautiful views, or uplifting moments. We call this “imprinting.”  We’ll share more about imprinting in our next blog post.

    Those of us @AFreshPOVforYou wish you and your family a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!


  • Fresh Views

    Sometimes it’s Challenging to find a Fresh POV!

    Day time orange sun with thick smoke in the sky

    While our focus is “fresh views”, today there is nothing “fresh” about the air in northern California or the views in the sky. The devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, CA is beyond words. We felt compelled to share our thoughts since this fire is so close to home for @DebGreenwood.

    How can survivors of this fire living with diabetes or other chronic conditions even think about their next steps (never mind taking medication or counting carbohydrates)?  The Apple Watch is a reminder every day that the air quality is unhealthy for all, and certainly not suitable for outdoor exercise. So we began to ponder, how can solutions focused brief therapy (SFBT) help those who find themselves in this situation and devastation to move one small step forward, and create hope and possibilities? Admittedly, this is really challenging and we’re struggling to find a way to think through this problem.

    SFBT is all about asking questions and helping a person recognize their strengths. A recent blog post by Dr. Anne Bodmer Lutz, A Language of Hope: Top 10 Solution Focused Translations, helps us think about opportunities to support individuals to be future-focused when faced with challenges.

    So, one question might be “Who are the most important people in your life and what do you most appreciate about them?” The answer may help one recognize that he or she has a support system around them, and that these important individuals can be a source of strength.

    A second question may be “What do you know?” This question focuses on competence. For instance, for a parent of a child with diabetes living under a stressful situation, one might ask, “What do you know about your child that tells you he is going to be okay?”

    Another question is the “indirect compliment” where one asks “How did you do it? Or “How did you manage to remember to take your insulin?”  By recognizing what has been accomplished and past success, one can feel a sense of empowerment.

    One thing learned from Dr. Anne Bodmer Lutz is that “cope” is just one letter away from “hope”.

    Those of us at A Fresh POV for You are wishing everyone impacted by these California wildfires all of the possibilities and opportunities for your future.

  • Fresh Views

    Thoughts on time and perspective

    Sometimes you just need a little bit of time for yourself to clear up your mind and see things from a new perspective. – Anonymous (Jar of Quotes)


    It’s National Diabetes Month and we’re on the go raising awareness about diabetes, gaining new perspectives, and challenging those impacted by diabetes to embrace possibilities, opportunities and a fresh vision for the future!

    As you may be catching on, we are all about the “view”…from striking “views” on life’s travels to embracing a positive perspective in viewing life itself, day-in and day-out. So on that note, we want to share this “view” from one stop in the November travels  – looking out over Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland.

    The top photo was snapped in the morning on the way out the door. Then below you see that same view, taken before settling in for the night. What a difference the passage of time and associated changes in lighting makes. The lighting changes what is perceived, and how. Twilight brings a whole new and beautiful perspective…the ability to see the harbor in a different way and see things that aren’t visible during the day.

    Taking that thought a step further…What could be possible if you took a little time to clear your mind, and shifted your focus from the problems you’re facing living with diabetes, to instead focus on those times when things are going as desired? What if you viewed things in a different light? How can you build upon your successes?

    Here’s an example for those using continuous glucose monitors (CGM) to stay in touch with blood glucose levels. When looking at trends and patterns, rather than focusing on the time blood glucose is out of range and trying to “fix” that, how about turning your focus to times you are in range, what  was going on then, and trying to do more of that. What small steps can you begin to take in that direction?

    Without a doubt diabetes is complex and burdensome. No one wants or needs anything NEW to do. But what if you focus on the things that are already working for you and try to do those more often?

    That’s the challenge we leave you with today. Time may bring a new perspective.

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AFreshPOVforYou

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