How Do You Relax?…

I ask, “How do you relax?”

Or should I ask, “Do you relax?”

When I relax, I feel guilty.  Take Saturday for example.  I spent the day in my pajamas watching tv and hanging with Cody and Raymond.  I had fun but felt bad about it on Sunday.  Therefore, Sunday had to be uber productive.  Probably not what I should be feeling.

One way I relax is with yoga.  I don’t go enough and have a hard time keeping a consistent schedule.  I can throw out 100 excuses but the truth is I just haven’t made time for it.  And I should.

BTW– if you are looking for a great yoga studio, then check out Gotta Yoga! 🙂

Another way I would like to relax is with mediation.  Have you ever tried it?  It’s SO hard!  Think Julia Roberts in Eat.Pray.Love.

I ran across an article a few months ago about the benefits of meditation.  Quick rundown:

Meditation, in any form, creates a heightened sense of awareness.  I’m guessing this will help with my “live in the moment” goals and ambitions!

Practicing meditation every day for 2 months can physically beef up some parts of your gray matter.  Not sure what gray matter is, but sounds like I need to do something about it!

Meditiation can help you master your emotions and help you feel closer to others.

Meditation taps into your rest-and-digest function which is opposite your fight-or-flight.  And can drop your blood pressure by up to 4 points.

Relaxing means less cortisol running through your veins.  Meditation helps you relax which means less cortisol.  And we all know how bad cortisol is for us!  I even had a friend change careers because her job was so stressful!

There were some other facts — er thoughts — about how mediation helps you fight off diseases and say no to cookies.  I could use the “no to cookies” part.

I’m thinking of starting a Meditation Challenge!  Who’s in?  Who’s with me? 🙂

12 minutes a day might be pushing it, but I could start with 5!  What about you?

Until next time…

Why I love yoga…

I ♥ yoga for so many reasons.

Its a great workout.  I feel great afterwards. Refreshed and relaxed – yet sweaty enough to feel like I got a workout.

With that said — I thought I would share some of the benefits of doing yoga.

  • Sunnier outlook on life.
    • Become a “Happy Yogi”.
  • Aches erased.
    • Posing improves posture and strengthens back muscles.
  • Better (and longer) sleep.
    • Yoga helps you relax.  Pure & simple!
  • Increase your body confidence.
    • During yoga, you tune into your body.  How it feels & what it can do.
  • Top to bottom toning.
  • Namaste the stress away!

Why do you love yoga?  Or any other workout for that matter! 😉

Until next time…

When Life Hands You Lemons…

LEMONADE FOR THE NEIGHBORS! 🙂

LIfe is full of surprises.  Some good and some not so good.  I was inspired by an article I read about how to bounce back when life throws you a curve ball.

We all have a “curve ball” story.  My life curve ball was being laid off at 23.  I had just graduated college, secured a pretty good job, and was just getting settled in to what “corporate life” was all about, when I got the news.  Two weeks notice — guess that is fair. Either way I was stunned.  It was so hard not to take it personally, and to anyone who has ever been laid off, you know how hard that is.  All this happened before the economy took a nosedive by the way — my friends all had great jobs with good salaries and bonuses.  I just got the axe at a company that I actually liked (or so I told myself).

HOW TO BOUNCE BACK FROM ANYTHING

Phone A Friend 

  • Create a mini support group.
  • Dont bottle your feelings up.  Reach out and talk about it.

Forget The What If’s

  • Your mind can be like a snowball.  One bad thought leads to another one.  This makes you feel less in control.
  • Divide a piece of paper into 3 columns:
  • Worst Case — write down all of those things that are in your head.
  • Best Case — ask yourself to generate equally unlikely outcomes.
  • Most Likely — think about what, realistically, you need to confront and how you will deal with it.

Focus Forward

  • Ask yourself, “How can I move forward?”, “Why am I a better person for this?”
  • You are a student of life.  Not a victim of it.

Melt “Icebergs”

  • Icebergs:  undermining, beneath-the-surface thoughts and beliefs that get passed down from our parents and grandparents like an ugly lamp.
  • Redefine your perception of your life.  What is acceptable and what is not acceptable to you.

Know It Won’t Last

Lend A Hand

  • When life hands you lemons … you know the rest! 🙂  Lemonade for the neighbors! 🙂
  • Doing something positive for others helps you stop obsessing, because you are tuning into someone else’s needs

Regain Control

  • To calm your nerves and anxiety, focus on the things within your control.
  • When you take action (like, cleaning out a closet), it lowers your anxiety level and puts you in a place mentally where you take on bigger hurdles. *Cough*Cough* 😉

Face Your Fears

What are your life curve balls?

Until next time…

Personal Goal Setting {Revisited}…

I absolutely love making and setting goals, so its pretty obvious that I love making new years resolutions.  Here it is February 1st and I realized I did not do much last month to move towards my goals and resolutions.  So I am revisiting.  This time — I have a plan.  A plan with some rewards built in!

Fitness Goals {Lose a few l.b.s}

  • Yoga class once a week (4x a month)
  • Go to a workout class twice a week (8x a month)
  • Lift weights three times a week
  • Run with Cody {my puppy dog} on Sundays
  • Extra credit:  swim at the YMCA once a week, yoga twice a week, work out a total of 5 days per week

Food Goals {It takes two baby — working out and eating right}

  • Keep a food journal with 90% accuracy (track what Im eating along with calories, sugar, and sodium intake)
  • Eat fruits twice a day
  • No alcoholic beverages on Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
  • Drink (2) 16oz bottles of water a day
  • Limit salt intake (I need something more specific here)

Health Rewards

  • Month 1 (February) — if I meet 3 in each category — new bottle of OPI nail polish
  • Month 1 (February) — if I meet 5 in each category — yogi toes (keeps you from sliding on your mat)
  • Month 2 (March) — if I meet 3 in each category — New workout tanktop/sports bra
  • Month 2 (March) — if I meet 5 in each category — New top and pants
  • Month 3 (April) — if I meet 3 in each category — take another yoga class (hot yoga is my favorite)
  • Month 3 (April) — if I meet 5 in each category — get a massage

Educational Goals {Increase my depths of knowledge}

  • Read 3 books a month
  • (1) Spiritual
  • (1) Biography
  • (1) Business/Self Improvement

I cant come up with any great rewards for the educational goals.  Have any ideas?

The Ideal Day Goals

  • Start at 6am (Im currently at 7am)
  • Walk Cody for 10 minutes
  • Drink a cup ‘a joe while reading the paper and daily devotions
  • Hour of business development (reading a book, doing exercises in said book, brainstorming)
  • Hour to two on large business development project (current project is writing content for my new website)
  • Blog
  • Check email
  • Eat lunch
  • Walk Cody (again)
  • Hour to two on business development project (emailing schools and moms groups about creating an organizing partnership)
  • Emails – Phone calls
  • Shut down computer

This girl enjoys sleeping in so every 2 weeks I set my alarm clock 30 minutes earlier than the 2 weeks before.  Eventually I will get to 6am — but hopefully in the most sustainable way.  I stick to the ideal schedule fairly well but have a hard time shutting down the computer at 6pm.

Do you have a plan for meeting goals?  I would love to hear your ideas!  {Seriously — I need creativity here because falling back on the same old routine is way too easy}

 

Gratitude…

In my weekly yoga class, the instructor regularly talks about gratitude.  I find myself thinking about what Im grateful for often.  General list:

  • Being healthy (having the choice to be able to exercise & eat nutritious foods)
  • Wonderful parents, boyfriend, friends, and family (& the best dog in the world) 🙂
  • Waking up everyday with a purpose — with the choice to live life to the fullest
  • The choice to be happy

There are so many people in the world who dont have choices to, say, exercise. Or they dont feel they have a choice to treat their bodys well because it is so hard for them to say no to unhealthy food options.  So many people have a cracked support structure (minimal love and trust from family and friends).  As we all get caught up in the madness and craziness that ensues our everyday lives, we forget to stop and be grateful for “what is” and for everything we have in our lives and are able to do.

What are you grateful for….?