#206 Take a Mental Day Off

Leaving work at noon – grabbing a pedicure without waiting and getting into the house before anyone else can shift an entire perspective from raunchy to rested.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#206

Take a mental health day off

When was the last time you took a day off for no reason other than to stay home and binge watch T.V., go on a hike, or picnic by a waterfall? All too often we save our vacation days for purposeful tasks or family vacations where the only thing that is different – is the scenery. Sometimes, we just need to have a mental health day.

Use sick days

All too often I find that people accumulate sick days in anticipation of having a major illness. I’ve known people to sell back more than six months of time that was accrued. While that was a nice ‘bonus’, most of us would have been better off taking one or two of those for no other reason than we wanted to have a champagne lunch with a friend.

Taking a Break

Everything is easier when we take a break. When we exhaust ourselves physically, we take a break. When we sit too long, we take a break, and when we’ve worked our fannies off – we deserve a break. Even taking a half day can make a difference. Leaving work at noon – grabbing a pedicure without waiting and getting into the house before anyone else can shift an entire perspective from raunchy to rested.

New Perspective

The little break you take with a mental health day can help you get a new perspective or at the very least, it can give you the metaphorical deep breath you need from work and the people there; stepping back from stress, controversy, or uncertainty. If we are seeking clarity or solutions, it may be the break that offers it to us.

Take a look at your work schedule as soon as you can and identify a time when you can…

Take a mental health day off.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#232 Say No

When we put others needs before ours consistently, we rob ourselves of the ability to stay ‘charged’.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#232

Say No

Are you a people pleaser? Are you challenged to say “no” when people ask you to do something? Are you afraid to let people down or disappointment them?

Full Plates

For those of us that are people pleasers, it is particularly challenging to experience the effect of disappointing people. We tend to over commit ourselves in an effort to meet the things we believe are expectations from others. We crowd our calendars, we stretch our limits, and we spend too much time frazzled as we strive to complete our over extended agendas.

Use Your Voice

Often, we know we are pushing too far… moving past comfortable as our mind screams “NO!” to our unhearing vocal cords that are deaf to our hearts whispers. Before we know it, the word “ok” escapes even though our internal warning systems are vibrating through our physical system. It’s vital that we learn to let our internal voice make become audible and speak the words that our brain is trying to vocalize.

Self Care

Honoring our own time limits and personal space is one of the most elementary components of self care. Before we can take care of others and meet all of their needs, we must make sure to charge our own batteries; stay mentally and physically strong enough to meet the demands of our own life. When we put others needs before ours consistently, we rob ourselves of the ability to stay ‘charged’.

Let ‘Em Down Easy

There isn’t any reason to be brash or offensive as we reject the desires or expectation of others. Most people will understand if we’ve maxed out the hours in our days. Learn to say “I’d love to but I can’t right now” or “I need to finish a few things before I can take on something else.” or … you could just…

Say “no”.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

#248 Sit in a park

The temperature falls instantly by ten degrees as the air is cooled and pushed by the water cascading 20 feet across the entire back of the park.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#248

Sit in a park

So, it’s Sunday afternoon and you’re at the park. Perhaps you’re walking through. Maybe you’re having a picnic. Could be you’re biking, running, or playing your way through the terrain… when was the last time you simply sat??

Why a park?

Generally, parks are green spaces created with our pleasure in mind. Pleasure because they offer an open space (open is relative here) where we can go for an outdoor experience. Of course that often means some kind of activity and yet all those benches that we see in parks aren’t only for rest in between activity. You might also sit on a blanket in the park or on a rock. Perhaps you prefer to plunge right down in the grass, allowing yourself to feel the ground specifically beneath you. The goal is to find a spot in the park and to sit alone and quietly there; contemplating or observing everything in your sight.

Parks are a great place to find a few quiet moments – perhaps not quiet from the perspective of sound – but from our individual lives. There in the park, we can slip away from responsibility, from demands of work and family, and utilize the energy of the outdoor environment to rejuvenate.

Be Mindful

As you sit there – in the park – take time to be mindful. Notice the grass, the sky, the people, the sounds, the temperature, and the textures. Pay attention to details… color differences, movement, and decibels.

Allow it all to move through your sight line without attachment and if you can… practice gratitude or compassion with each observation. (i.e., “I’m so grateful for the sensation of the sun on my face.”)

Sitting alone in a park can be an experience all in its own.

Paley Park

a7be0370254b67a3db601dc0b3fa7968

One of my most favorite memories is finding the jewel of Paley Park in New York City. Walking east along 53rd street, just past MOMA, there’s a small break in the storefronts – almost unnoticeable – and yet with a glance you are immediately lured into an open square canopied by trees and flanked by a wall of water falling into a pond. The sounds of Manhattan cease and your senses are filled with nature. The temperature falls instantly by ten degrees as the air is cooled and pushed by the water cascading 20 feet across the entire back of the park. Without hesitation, I pulled up a chair and allowed that space to evaporate the metropolitan energy from my mind; replacing it with a lightness and freshness that can only be induced by Mother Nature.

Create your Own Moment

Understandably, most readers won’t be running to Paley Park anytime soon (highly recommended if you find yourself in NYC) and yet there are dozens of options near you at any given time as our culture is rather park-minded overall. A local town square, a community green space, a state game land, or a national treasure all offer opportunities to get grounded if we just take a moment and …

Sit in a park.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#263 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

I’ve heard it argued that cleaning house and pulling weeds are also ‘me time’ for those who absolutely love those activities and/or those whose sense of satisfaction are so high afterwards, they bask in the completed results

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#263

Follow a Self Care Plan

When a battery runs out of juice, the object that it powers cannot not operate. When a plant doesn’t get watered, it dies. When our automobiles run out of gasoline, they will not move. Quite simply, when something is not cared for, it will not be able to function properly. There is a concrete reason that we adults must place the oxygen masks on our face FIRST and then, our children even though it seems to go against our caregiving nature.

You see, in order for us to function in the world we must have the energy, the stamina, the drive, and the desire … to keep going. It doesn’t matter if our role is motherhood, boss, nurse, postal worker, farmer, delivery driver, or trash collector. Unless we have taken care of ourselves, we are unable to properly serve in the capacities to which we have otherwise committed.

Using this simplistic line of reasoning – self care is not selfish, it is a necessity.

What is self care? It is anything that charges your batteries, waters your soul, gasses your tank, etc.  It could be a bubble bath, reading a book in a hammock, a round of golf, a girls night out, crafting time, veggin’ out for a bit or any similar activity that feels nourishing to YOU. It’s classic ‘me time’.

I’ve heard it argued that cleaning house and pulling weeds are also ‘me time’ for those who absolutely love those activities and/or those whose sense of satisfaction are so high afterwards, they bask in the completed results – so o.k…. It’s not the outlet for my energy but that’s the key behind self care; it personal and unique to each individual. The only requirement is that you establish and…

Follow a self care plan.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#264 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

The flower itself is only part of the experience of course… walking through nature’s beauty is, in and of itself an activity that promotes happiness; …

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#264

Pick wildflowers

Do you remember the smile on your mother’s face when you presented her with the first Dandelion you ever picked? Do you remember how much fun it was to see the yellow glow of a buttercup under your friends chin? Have you known the delight of watching a stem of Queen Anne’s Lace change colors because you added food coloring to the water it was in? Have you felt the satisfaction of collecting naturally grown flowers from a field or the side of a road?

These are simple joys available to many of us with the simple act of collecting a few wildflowers (or weeds as they might be). It’s an example of one of those childhood activities that promotes innocent delight almost immediately. Flowers grow naturally and spontaneously throughout the world and while their natural beauty is enjoyable, there is something even more special about collecting pieces of it to share indoors. I’m certainly not speaking about digging up a natural landscape and transplanting… only picking a few sprigs of color to surprise a loved one, brighten your own home, or to dry and press as an addition to your memory book.

The flower itself is only part of the experience of course… walking through nature’s beauty is, in and of itself an activity that promotes happiness; being outdoors, moving, and breathing fresh air is good for us all. Enjoying the scenery of blooming flowers – especially entire meadows or a forest undergrowth can be breathtaking and awe inspiring.  

Of course, if you are walking through a nature preserve or another protected property – please be respectful of your surroundings and don’t pick – just enjoy. Additionally, a large bouquet of Goldenrod may not be an appropriate presentation to someone with seasonal allergies. However, a few stems of honeysuckle will make your entire home smell good for a few days and a handful of violets will add a lovely purple splash to your windowsill all week.

Take advantage of a nice day and find a quiet place to take a walk, enjoy the scenery and if appropriate…

Pick wildflowers.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Bobby Burch on Unsplash

#277 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Perhaps you’ve just begun adulthood and there is a simplicity in your life that you hope to carry through… write yourself a letter reminding your future self …

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

 #277

Write a letter to yourself    

Sometimes, we need a little reminder about life and the very best perspective into our lives is our own!

There’s value in writing a letter to your younger self. Think back a few years; 10, 20, or even 30…. Where were your thoughts? Your values? Your goals? What have you learned since then? By sitting down and writing a letter to your younger self, you are taking stock in how far you’ve come. You’re describing a perspective that may not be actively conscious until you take the time to think. Think about the mistakes & lessons, the challenges & successes, and the insights & ah-ha moments that you’ve had; maybe the ones you wish you had know back then.

When you’re finished writing that letter, you’ll have a wonderful reminder of how much you know and how you’ve grown up til now.

A letter to your future self can also be a great option. Think about what is happening right now that will be important to remember! Perhaps you’ve just begun adulthood and there is a simplicity in your life that you hope to carry through… write yourself a letter reminding your future self to keep it in mind. Sometimes, we allow the stressors of adulting to override the basics we enjoy in the beginning. Life can get complicated and it may be really helpful to have a reminder of the more simple tenets.

When you finish writing that letter, put it in a special place that you’re likely to find in a few years.

It only takes a few minutes and it’s best completed without too much forethought. Let the words come naturally – allowing your heart to guide the advice or wisdom that is seeking to be imparted. You know yourself best so let the self compassion flow as you …

Write a Letter to Yourself.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#296 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

as I attempted to buy wine the next day – I was asked for ID. As I got back in the car to go home I slammed a solid fist pump into the air believing that my primping was responsible.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#296

Have an at-home spa day

This may be the ultimate in Self-care activities. Spending an afternoon or an entire day pampering your face, your hair, your skin, and your nails. Back in my youth this meant massaging a gross amount of mayonnaise into  my hair and wrapping it in a warm towel; rubbing my heels with Vaseline and covering my feet with cotton socks; and then applying baby oil all over my skin from head to toe. Just to be cute I would use cucumber slices on my eyes on occasion but mostly they got cold compresses. That was the process of beautification as I knew it.

Today, while those methods may work fine, there are dozens of fancier options. From homemade facial scrubs to electric foot baths – having a personal spa day is easier than ever. Get started with a bath, a glass of wine, some soft music, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Spend time moisturizing your hair, your face, and your extremities. A sugar scrub for your face, hands, and feet will exfoliate and prep your skin for the lotions that come next. Using honey, buttermilk, coconut oil and/or avocados are a natural way to hydrate the largest organ (your skin) on your body.

Finish up with attending to your finger and toenails – to polish or not is a personal preference. Some light yoga or meditation may be a great way to still your mind while while your body regenerates and then perhaps some outdoor time in a garden or a short nap.

In my late twenties I treated myself to a full day of pampering and as I attempted to buy wine the next day – I was asked for ID. As I got back in the car to go home I slammed a solid fist pump into the air believing that my primping was responsible. Who knows? The more you take care of your skin – the longer it looks good so go ahead and treat yourself to an…

At Home Spa Day.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.