#177 Dance

Our social interactions can be enhanced and our overall sense of well-being is likely to be elevated.

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.

#177

Dance

If you were ever a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you’ll remember that Meredith Grey liked to ‘dance it out’. It was her way of being emotionally expressive. The truth is, dance is fantastic for emotions – it’s great for your body – and it may help you live longer. Indeed, There was a woman on this year’s America’s Got Talent that took Ballroom dance classes when she was in her sixties and today, after more than 10 years of honing skill… at the age of 71, she is dancing on national television with the grace of a swan.

Benefits

When we dance, we burn calories. We release endorphins. We stretch muscles. We build strength. We build aerobic capacity. Our balance, agility, flexibility, and coordination are improved. Our social interactions can be enhanced and our overall sense of well-being is likely to be elevated.

Something for Everyone

Dance can take so many different avenues that there’s an option for just about everyone. You can disco in the comfort of your living room; take ballroom dancing lessons, spend Saturday afternoon Country line dancing at a local venue. You can enroll in ballet, tap, or modern dance classes at a local studio or community college. Dance by yourself, with someone you know, or with a complete stranger. There really aren’t limits except those that you apply to yourself.

Motivation

Think about your motivation to dance… what is your goal? Fitness? Flexibility? Social connection? Would you prefer a partner? Private Lessons? Potential for competition? Do you want a work out or simple fun? Are you seeking to develop strength, coordination, or flexibility? The answer may dictate the style of dance you may enjoy and the intensity you dive in with.

At the very least, allow yourself to take the opportunities when they arise, to move to music that you enjoy. Whether it’s a series of hip wiggles or spins around the kitchen… when you hear tunes that motivate you to ‘get your groove on’ – let the spirit move you and…

Dance.

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

#207 Use Aromatherapy

When we inhale the oil molecules, they affect the limbic region in our brain which impacts our emotions, our memory, our hormones and our heart rate.

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.

#207

Use Aromatherapy

For more than 5000 years, scent – the aroma of oils and plants – have been used as therapies for healing everything from clearing out sinuses, helping us sleep, improving circulation, and calming our mind. It’s considered an alternative or ‘holistic’ treatment to complement medical treatment.

Benefits

The oils used in Aromatherapy stimulate the olfactory system in our body – the one connected to our nose. When we inhale the oil molecules, they affect the limbic region in our brain which impacts our emotions, our memory, our hormones and our heart rate. When the diluted oils are massaged into our skin, it may improve circulation and improve the absorption rate.

Uses

Common plant oils like Basil and Pepper help with body aches and migraines. Eucalyptus is great when we have colds to help us breathe better. Lemon oil, Thyme, and Lavender are known to improve our mood, reduce stress, and enhance sleep.

Caution

Some of these oils can be toxic if used inappropriately. They can promote an allergic reaction or interact negatively with one another so it is imperative that a trained professional guide the use and application of essential oils. An aromatherapist will use a medical history, your current health history as well as diet and lifestyle to develop a strategic plan for medicinal uses.

Keep it  Simple

If you just want your home to smell good and trigger a tranquil feeling, try a diffuser with a diluted scent that you find pleasant (lavender is commonly used for tranquility). There is a large variety of diffusers from reeds, ultrasonic, and mist contraptions that allow the oil molecules to permeate the air. A quick search will return more options than you’ll need.

Once you do a little research and visit a pro you’ll find that your mental and physical well-being can be improved with a decision to…

Use aromatherapy.

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

#259 Replace Your Pillows

If I’ve totally grossed you out now that you are thinking about how old most of the pillows are in your house, the fix is simple…

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.

#259

Replace your pillows

Do you have a plan to replace old, worn out pillows? If you’re like me, I think about it when I am changing the linens and then I forget or put them at the bottom of my priority list – you know, below pedicures and sushi nights. Admittedly, there have been times in my life when I was forced to double case a pillow to hide the dried drool stains and evidence of age if I was in a pinch. At those moments, new pillows became a priority.

Let’s face it, one-third of each day is spent in bed with our heads on a pillow; having the right one is a necessity for a good night’s sleep and potentially, for our health. According to some experts, the basic poly-fill pillow needs replaced every six months (what??). The more expensive memory foam pillows can last as long as 36 months (double what??). I’m embarrassed to admit that mine are much older.

Indeed, my primary – my favorite – pillow is perhaps 8 years old at this point and I’ve kept it because I can’t seem to find one that I like as much. There are so many different pillow options these days and if money isn’t a concern three are plenty to consider. We must choose between content; feathers, down, memory foam, microbead, water, gel or buckwheat. Then there are the different body parts that pillows support; neck, body, and shoulders. There are pillows for health; sleep apnea, allergies, back pain, and migraines.  And, not the least of which is important is the degree of firmness – several options in that arena are also available.

The best time to buy pillows is in January when most of the major merchandisers have annual white sales but I for one, am usually not shopping that time of year… more like recovering from December’s blown budget. It makes good sense to bite the bullet and search sales for new pillows on those beds that get used daily at least annually… (yes, I’m inclined to buy the cheaper ones).

If I’ve totally grossed you out now that you are thinking about how old most of the pillows are in your house, the fix is simple… for a mere $12 or so (each) this weekend at Macys you can …

Replace your pillows.

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

Photo by Martin Castro on Unsplash

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

The low light condition of a room lit by candles resembles dusk to our brain – creating a reflex to begin winding down – and our body naturally starts to relax.

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.

#302

Light candles

For more than 5000 years, candles have been a part of our lives – first for providing light, then ambiance, and in more recent time – they have offered us a way to make our environment smell better. Additionally, candlelight is attributed to romance, relaxation, and focus.

Candle meditation is beginning to rise in popularity as the flame offers a specific point of focus and is naturally soothing to our brain. Candle yoga is offered in some studios for the same reason. Our faces and bodies look softer (and younger?) in candlelight. The low light condition of a room lit by candles resembles dusk to our brain – creating a reflex to begin winding down – and our body naturally starts to relax.

Companies have made giant fortunes on the business of providing us with candle options. From the home party company Candlelight that many of us were familiar with as it made its rounds through suburbia in the early 2000’s, to the Yankee Candle Co. storefront in malls across America – businesses are marketing to our adoration of soft light and nice smells.

Some of us have even been introduced to the correct ‘way’ to care for our candles, depending on how many wicks it has and what kind of ingredients it is made of. Craft stores have dedicated entire isles for candle making supplies as the creatives among us take on the challenge of personalizing our little wax lights. And the combination of scents have matured from Rose and Cinnamon to Roasted Nutmeg Butternut Squash and Cucumber Melon Ocean Breeze… tantalizing us with the idea that an ocean breeze could actually be contained in a jar filled with wax.

Nevertheless, there does seem to be validity behind the idea that lighting a candle at home – for a variety of reasons – may add to your sense of well-being. So, if you are seeking relaxation, aromatherapy, or a nice romantic evening I’ll offer the simple suggestion of…

Light Candles.

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

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

Browsing really old photographs of family and friends can remind us of people who were central to our youth, perhaps acting a reference for our value system or center of strength.

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.

#342

Photographs

Many of the photos we take these days are digital and hence, stored on our mobile device, in the cloud, or on a hard drive. Photos older than ten or so years are yet undeveloped, in a shoebox under a bed, or tucked into albums buried on the bottom of the bookshelf behind the sofa in the Den. If you’re lucky, someone with much patience and creativity created an album of cherished shots with stamps, paper, stickers and jovial comments.

How often do you peruse these memories?

We take photographs to capture moments that are important to us – in that time. In essence, the photograph enables us to savor the experience; not only in the moment, but at anytime that we revisit the photo. Research tells us that savoring increases psychological well-being.

Browsing really old photographs of family and friends can remind us of people who were central to our youth, perhaps acting a reference for our value system or center of strength. Remembering Grandma via a snapshot of Thanksgiving dinner might elicit memories of family and traditions; recentering our concepts if or when we get sidetracked. Additionally, recalling times of love and belonging or times of pleasure and joy can be soothing and comforting.

Clearly, some of us have prints of people and places that may not evoke pleasant memories. A client recently commented that she discarded any and all photos reminding her of a past relationship. I contend that even those photos have value. Looking back at historical events via snapshots can remind us of how far we’ve come. Another client who hated all photographs of her when she was heavy keeps an album of them now to inspire her to maintain new weight loss.

As I go through old photos, I am reminded of all the amazing friends I’ve had along the way. I may not have kept up with them or know anything about their life currently but looking at the memories stimulates great gratitude for their presence in that time of my life. Those thoughts often evoke smiles and laughter which, motivates feelings of well-being.

At the center of this message is the direction to keep taking photos – but more importantly… look at them frequently. Take time to scroll through your phone or tablet when you need a little pick-me-up. If thoughts of missing someone arises… go with it. Honor the memory, honor the missing, and savor the experience that the photograph captured. Embrace your past and savor the memories in your…

Photographs.

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

Photo by @boetter on Foter.com / CC BY