It feels surreal, what we are experiencing in the US with the Coronavirus. It’s scary and unlike anything most of us have ever gone through in our entire lives. (more…)
Starting at the beginning of this month I have been writing down three things that I am thankful for everyday. I didn’t have all these amazing reasons of why I started, I just started writing in hopes to jumpstart the holiday spirit in my life. (And yes, I am one that starts listening to Christmas music and watching Hallmark Christmas movies in October).
Also, in the back of my mind, I knew that I had read several articles listing the benefits of doing so and I thought “why not test it out?” My goal is to write 3 things that I am thankful for each day. My standard for the items I write down isn’t high, I just want to get something down on paper EVERYDAY; consistency is key.
Each morning I write in the corner of my journal/planner “I am thankful for…” Doing that each morning just sets my focus to look for things that are good in my life. Some of the things I have written down include “crockpots” “cozy socks” and “the gym” just to name a few. These are not earth shattering items that should make me jump for joy, but just recognizing small highlights each day has definitely increased my positivity.
I had a crazy week of taking care of two family members and I was starting to feel stretched. I was bringing dinner to two different houses, other than my own, and was not feeling all that positive. When the power went out as I was leaving the house for work, I realized that my dinner would not cook and so I called an audible and dumped everything in my crock pot and brought it to work to cook for 8 hours. Instead of looking at the inconveniences of my day, I looked at the positive. I was thankful for crock pots, especially the kind that have a lid that locks to prevent spillage.
Do you have that one thing that just makes you feel like you have your sh*t together? Maybe it’s when your nails are done? Or when your laundry is washed, dried, and put away all in the same day? Or when your bed is made prior to you walking out the door? Whatever that “thing” is that makes you feel put together, writing a few things down each day that you are thankful for can give you that feeling that you have it altogether. When I feel like I have it together, I tend to hold my head a little higher.
I feel like my confidence wanes when I compare what I have to others. I look at what I don’t have and immediately feel less than. So-and-so has a pinterest-esque house. So-and-so has the cutest family. So-and-so has this and that; it can go on forever. BUT, since I have been writing my thankful three each day I have been busy looking for all the things that I do have in my life that I haven’t paid much attention to what I’m lacking. That doesn’t mean that I never compare myself, but it has lessened this month and my confidence has increased because of it.
Raise your hand if you are the person that lays down at night and starts to list the to dos and/or list what didn’t get checked off that day and has a hard time falling asleep because your mind won’t turn off. Well put that hand down and maybe try taking a few minutes before bed to jot down a few goods you have in your life. Instead of thinking of what you need to do, your mind is being directed toward things that you are grateful for. This can help settle that mind of yours, instead of ramping it up, so that you can get some sleep!
I used to be a list maker prior to heading off to bed in hopes that it would set me up for the next day, but I’ve learned writing my thankful three and reading a few chapters is the best sleep routine for me.
Three things a day. Just give it a try for one month and see if your positivity, confidence, and sleep are boosted. Each morning make a note to think about people, events, food, etc. that you are thankful for and finish your day off with writing what has come to mind. Maybe this will help jumpstart your holiday spirit?
When you were in Jr. High or High School and your English teacher gave you a sheet to track the amount of pages you had to read that term, did you moan? Or did you look at the number of pages required and think, “Oh, I could probably double that number!”? (more…)
Well, it’s that time again. Time for you to hear from me, the twenty-one-year-old with little to no life experience. What wisdom could I impart upon all of you out in the blogosphere today? (more…)
Fortunately for me, I was born and raised in beautiful Hawaii so when I say that I am “taking a trip home” for holidays or family events, I get to go back to what I consider one of the most beautiful places in the world. Something happens whenever I take a trip home: I remember what it feels like to slow down and I leave feeling recharged, refreshed, and rejuvenated. Perhaps it is a combination of being on vacation from school or work and the laid-back culture there, but when I am home, it is easier to give myself permission to take a break, slow down, and just be. It comes so natural for me there but on my way back from my last trip, I found myself wondering how I could do that daily without having to travel 3,000 miles away from the life I am building in Utah.
It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life-work, school, taking care of kids, commuting in traffic, church activities, regular exercise, running errands, etc.- that taking a break might seem counterintuitive if you have things to do and deadlines to meet. However, research shows that taking breaks will actually increase productivity and creativity.
When I studied in graduate school, I implemented the Pomodoro Technique: working in undisrupted blocks, typically 25 minutes long followed by a 5-minute break. This means putting away any distractions, including text messaging, answering emails, or talking to family members close by. When I did this, I found that I studied more effectively in shorter work sessions rather than trying to plough through a longer block of time. This approach is effective with any task that I have to do, from cleaning the house to completing client notes.
If you are anything like me, you probably like to plan ahead with lengthy to-do lists. Sometimes it can be helpful in keeping me organized but often times, when tasks are left unchecked on my to-do list, I feel unaccomplished at the end of the day. On top of that, it is often difficult for me to actually enjoy a fun or relaxing activity (i.e., hanging out with friends, taking a nap, falling asleep at night, etc.) when I have an unfinished task in the back of my mind. To help with this, I make sure to schedule adequate time in my week to work on the tasks that are important. Then I schedule time for breaks, this includes time to sleep and socialize. There are numerous studies that prove the benefits of sleep but when we are busy, sleep is usually what we give up first. Resist that urge! Among the myriad of benefits, sleep will help with memory, productivity, clarity, and energy.
Take a deep breath
Research shows that people who practice daily meditation are more relaxed and productive throughout the day. When I first started to practice meditation, I had difficulty remembering to set aside time to do so regularly so I started by setting a reminder on my phone to slow down my breathing for a few minutes before every class that I had. Then I started to implement guided meditation from online recordings and also practiced yoga. If you are interested in attending a meditation or mindfulness group, we will be resuming our groups in the Fall so stay tuned or contact our office or website to sign up!
You do not have to travel 3,000 miles to feel recharged, rejuvenated, and refreshed. Learning to take breaks regularly throughout the day could give you the motivation and energy to fulfil your responsibilities.
I recently watched a new Ted Talk called “The Future of Happiness: Getting Unstuck in the Digital Era” delivered by Amy Blankson just a few weeks ago on May 4th. While acknowledging how technology could be a distraction in our lives, Blankson also spoke of its benefits. (more…)
On May 1st, I switched my mom’s calendar for her and was taken back for a moment; on my birthday, she has written Josee “25”. 25. A quarter of a century. Half-way to thirty. Or as my grandpa so graciously put it, 1/4th of the way dead. (more…)
Let’s get one thing straight at the start of this blog post: we all numb our pain. We may like to pretend otherwise; that we are somehow more enlightened, that we lean into our pain, that we are proactive about our coping skills, and that we are invested in understanding our emotional experience, and while we may believevery strongly in the value of these approaches to life, when it comes right down to it, when we are hit upside the head with painful emotions, most of us flee. We head for cover, reach for the nearest bag of potato chips, put ourselves in a Netflix-induced coma, or push ourselves to oblivion out on the trail. The mechanism of numbing may be different, but the fact remains the same: we numb in the face of pain. (more…)