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Bottom Line” It All Comes Down To Your Mindset!
So I’m stressed…and when I’m stressed it ends up making me more stressed…and now just talking about being stressed makes me stressed! WHAT DO I DO?!?
BEEP BEEP BEEP…that’s your alarm right there (did I get your attention yet?). From the moment our alarm goes off to the time our head hits the pillow, the vast majority of us lead incredibly busy lives. With all the different hats we try to wear on a daily basis, whether that be work life, family life or something else, that hustle and bustle over time will inevitably create wear and tear on our bodies, minds and spirits. If our car gets a flat tire, what do we do? We take it to an auto body shop and get the tire fixed so we can get cruising again! So too in life we must take time to go to the metaphorical “mechanic” and get ourselves checked on every once in awhile to ensure we are always moving forward and in a positive state of mind. Here are my top 8 ways for you to make sure you are checking on yourself, getting gassed up with the RIGHT fuel and always running smoothly (enough with the car analogies, let’s get to the good stuff…).
A Moment (heck…I’ll even take 5 seconds) of Peace
I will keep things simple to start….walk outside, take a deeeeeeeep breath in, get in all that fresh air and go to your mailbox or bring your trash cans in from the street. Throughout the 86,400 seconds in each day, taking a few of those to breathe and get a short break from the world around us gives us the energy and mental fortitude to handle the stressors what will come our way each day. Once we have mastered the art of the mailbox walk, see if you can take a walk around your block or lay on a chair outside in your backyard and just feel the warmth of the sun and whistle of the winds as we recharge our mental batteries (you didn’t really think I was done with the analogies, did you?). Oh and I didn’t say it before but you should also BREATHE OUT!! That one is my bad…
Cooking: Creating Something Out of Nothing…and then EAT IT! :D
Even if you are someone who does not get excited about the idea of cooking, I wouldn’t knock this one until you really try it (and reading what I have to say on the matter, of course). Food isn’t just an item that we eat to enjoy the taste of or nourish our body. Food and meals are a gateway to creating something out of nothing and immediately being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Make a dish to eat while watching a movie or prepare a family dinner but the effect remains the same….we all have the ability to create and we tap into that every time we cook. Cooking is creation…and a delicious creation I might add.
Curl Up With A Good Book…Or At Least A Good Pair Of Headphones (let me explain…)
Full disclosure….I am not a book person. Being that I grew up in the Golden Age of Gameboy’s and Playstation’s, books never jumped out at me the way other attention-grabbing devices did. That is, until recently. Sitting down with a book about something that DOES jump out at you or interest you, puts your mind in a state of creative euphoria where the troubles of the world seem small and anything becomes possible. Books are a gateway to another universe where you can be anyone from a multi-billion dollar business executive to a knight in shining armor trying not to get barbecued by the local fire-breathing dragon. The key is to be GENUINELY interested in the material you’re reading, letting you immerse yourself in the words and stories told.
And if you still feel inspired to tap into that alternate reality but aren’t such a fan of a book, grab some noise canceling headphones and use one of the dozens of audiobook sites out there. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and this activity made my list because I think it’s something everyone should try.
Exercise: Our Body’s Natural Mood-Changer
This is an extension of our The Art of the Mailbox Walk but expanded on, tenfold. It's common knowledge that “Exercise is our body’s natural antidepressant”. Activities like exercise, whether they be for 2 minutes or 2 hours, release these happy little chemicals called endorphins into our bodies. Endorphins, when released into our bodies, can help bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being And while exercise may not be for everyone out there, here is my challenge to YOU!
Ready for this…here it is….go and……WATCH TV! Bet you weren’t expecting that! But, while you’re watching your favorite show, do me a personal favor and march your legs up and down while sitting on the couch during every commercial. As crazy as it is to think, that little extra 1% you stamped on today will carry over into tomorrow and your body WILL get stronger while making you feel good at the same time. Talk about having your cake and eating it too…well now I’m hungry and want to go back to the the cooking section!!!
Knock Knock…It’s Time To Laugh
While I fully own and acknowledge that that title might be the worst joke of all time, the message here might be one of my personal favorites. The ways to fulfill this activity here are just as different as each and every one of you, diverse in tastes and attitudes but all benefiting from a good ol’ belly laugh (you know EXACTLY what I mean).
Maybe you find some clips of your favorite comedians on Netflix and spend the night laughing away as you drift to sleep. Maybe you peruse that site…what’s its name again..oh, Youtube!! Go there and find something that might bring abut the sort of laughter that leaves you gasping for air (in the best way, of course). You probably have a friend or two whose faces you are picturing in your head as you read this that when you speak to them it just makes you laugh and puts you in a good mood.
Bottom line is this, there is something out there for everyone, whether its someone getting hit in the groin (ouch!) or a baby eating a lemon (aww!) or a cat knocking a glass vase off the counter (how could you, Fluffers!?), you just need to go out, find it, and have a good laugh.
From Skin To Hair - Make Time For Self-Care
Very important before we go on….how about that rhyme am I right?! Okay, now we can proceed…
What would you guess is one of the first things that busy people do when..well..they are busy? If you guessed that they devote 96% of their time and energy to making sure everyone else in their life (work, family etc.) is taken care of and well off then I would say YOU’RE RIGHT! Quick follow up question…what goes into that last 4%? Well that becomes the time we give ourself to take care of ourselves. That’s our eating right, sleeping enough hours, proper hygiene and all those small things that we should never look at as small.
If you haven’t realized it by now, 4% is way too small of a percentage!!! This is one item that made the list that I would strongly encourage everyone to start implementing if you aren’t already. It’s close to impossible to pour from an empty cup so make sure you take care of YOU so that we are ready and able to take care of the other things in our lives.
I am pretty sure I can write an entirely separate list about the most popular hobbies that people take up in their spare time but I think I will save that rabbit hole journey for another time. Hobbies, like most of the items in my TopList, come down to what interests YOU. What activities do YOU find interesting, exciting, exhilarating and all the other wonderful adjectives you can insert [HERE]!
From music, to sports, to art, to collecting things (not hoarding, there is a difference, people), the world of hobbies is about as boundless as your life is busy. But I promise you this (as I am speaking from experience) there is a way to be busy and entertain your passions at the SAME TIME (crazy, I know). A wise man once told me that if something is truly important to you, you will find the time in each 24-hour day we are given to make time for what inspires and excites you. What is even more special is when you find like-minded individuals who are also passionate about the same things you are, it lets you indulge that passion further being surrounded by those like-minded individuals.
Try it out and let me know what your favorite hobbies are!
Clearing Clutter: Of The Mind and Of The Closet
I am deciding to round out my TopList with something that I think the vast majority of us can do and can take as little as 5 minutes each and every day. Have I peaked your interest yet? Well our last and final TopList item is all about reducing clutter around your house thereby reducing clutter in your mind. I like to think about it like this....take all the stress in your life, all the issues and bumps in the road and picture each one as a brick. Okay perfect…now that you have your pile of bricks, put all of it in a bag (it won’t tear I promise) and throw that thing over your shoulder. Heavy, isn’t it? Carrying all that extra weight with you is ZERO FUN! But now, and here’s the magic, let’s walk over to a single closet in our house thats just jam packed of stuff we have been meaning to go through for ages but we forgot and then got sidetracked and then did that other thing…you know…THAT closet. Spend the next 5-10 minutes going through each item and make 2 piles: Keep and Chuck. Once we can safely say what we are chucking, we then take the Keep items and put those away in the places they belong.
Now here is the trick after that’s done….STOP DOING IT! Give yourself the rest of the day off and go about your normal life. The next day we can tackle that cabinet in the kitchen with all the novelty cups you never drink out of or maybe the “sports closet” with 18 deflated volleyballs (this is when you start to realize no one is your house actually plays volleyball and you’re confused as to how maybe theres a greater issue here).
Each item organized removes one brick from your back and lightens the load you are carrying yourself.
If you made it to this point, I first want to say thank you. Thank you for spending your time to learn a little, laugh a little more and get some ideas on how YOU can focus on a small amount of time each day to become stronger (mentally and physically) by the time your head hits the pillow. Please be on the lookout for future TopLists I will be coming out with real soon!
Remember to NEVER Settle and ALWAYS give your Extra 1%! Talk to you soon!