Monday, April 11, 2016
Monday, February 8, 2016
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Friday, January 1, 2016
New Year, New You?
It's that time again, time for the classic, and often dreaded New Year's resolution. One of those things that I personally often considering putting off until the Monday after New Years, just to give myself some time to adjust and reset in the New Year. Is creating a monotonous list of things to achieve in a year, practical, or stress inducing? How much change can one person make in a year, and how much change is healthy? Will the changes make us happy or ultimately lead us down winding paths of confusion as we try to find our purpose and avoid making the same mistakes? I hope that this year brings wellness and peace, I have had enough stress for a while, and plan to harvest new energies and abilities as I strengthen my relationships with loved ones, most importantly, myself. I think it takes time to truly know oneself, and maintain an insightful level of awareness in order to avoid the negative impact of the world around us. Free time is something that we often lack, and would certainly welcome more of. As we step into a new year's journey, we must ask ourselves what we can do to love and care for ourselves and those who are important to us, without falling short and fizzling out. Spending less time feeling the need to be ENTERTAINED is a goal of mine this year, as I attempt to grasp a quiet calm and overall sense of being. Meditation is a skill that can be utilized in any setting during any time of day, even in the shower as you start or end your day. Practicing meditation is something that I am new to, and am eager to pursue. Here are some tips to help us get comfortable with creating a meditation routine, and welcoming its benefits into our daily life.
1. Make it meaningful. Set a time, and stick to it- if you usually spend 15 minutes hitting snooze, get out of bed or pop in your headphones and listen to a guided meditation instead
2. Center yourself- If focusing is difficult at first, use a candle or picture, even a moving background of waves or a stream, whatever eases the relaxation process. Using aromatherapy as a way to focus your thoughts is also helpful, and you will find that it is easy to connect feelings of calm and relaxation to certain scents. For me, my favorites include- Vanilla Lavender, Sandalwood Vanilla, and my Focus Blend which combines Wild Orange/ Grapefruit and Peppermint. All can be found here - Aromatherapy Blends for Relaxation
3. Stay open minded and try new things- If you are new to this like me, it can be helpful to try different styles of guided meditations. One thing that I have noticed that makes a difference is the voice of the person conducting the meditation, I was recently thrown off by a heavy British accent, which easily distracted me. Listening to meditations that include the Tibetan singing bowls has helped me to stay centered and calm. Try this think on YouTube- Tibetan Singing Bowl Relaxation
4. Use a powerful statement or Mantra, but don't feel restricted. If something speaks to you, and helps you center your thoughts..GO FOR IT. If not, don't stress, just do what works, in time one may emerge or you may use beads or a sand tray to help you focus prior to meditating.
5. Even a few minutes can produce a sense of wellness. Do not feel constricted by time restraints, do what you can, and hopefully as you start to see the results of incorporating mediation into your daily life, you may find that you are making more time for this practice.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Saturday, September 19, 2015
In past posts I have talked about the importance and benefits of practicing positive thinking and how the results can often be long lasting. Recent studies have shown that integrating positive psychology interventions (PPI's) can promote positive feelings, behaviors and thoughts as well as assist with a speedy recovery from the physiological effects of the negative emotions that so often take control of our person (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). It has also been discussed that infusing your daily activities with PPIs can assist with relapse prevention, increase feelings of well being, decrease depressive thoughts and feelings including tiring symptoms like anxiety, rumination, insomnia and so on (2009).
When thinking of how to get the process started, a simple way could be to engage in random acts of kindness. This can be a fun way to spend time with loved ones and friends, and can even make a fun and cheap date night- and hey at the very least it will be a sure fire way to determine whether or not you are into someone, if they are down with OPP (Optimistic Positive Plans) then they are down with me, HA!
Here are some ideas!
Ding Dong Ditch: Leave a jar of coins, pack of diapers, gas card, movie tickets, popcorn tin for a neighbor or local office. Just make sure to be safe when doing so!
Positive Post - Its: Write positive statements or quotes on post its and put them on doors, windows, or where ever they will stick, in hopes of putting a smile on someones face
Winter Blues Care Packs: Winter is coming and NY weather is labile to say the least.. so stock up on gloves, scarves and hats at your local dollar store and pass them out on those chilly and snowy days!
Vending Machine Perks: Tape packs of popcorn to the Redbox achine, Quarters in envelopes to the soda & snack machines or even to a parking meter. We have all had those days where there isn't even a quarter to be found in the hellish trap between the car seat and arm rest.
Thank You's & Hello's : Can it get any easier than this? Set a number and say hello to that number of people each day, especially the toll booth operators (my goal is always a 7 word interaction, come on, those booths get lonely!) If you want to get creative write and deliver/send cards to those you've lost touch with or to local service departments for their hard work
Have fun and good luck. Remember to be genuine, safe and to take pictures along the way. Feel free to share them in the comments below !
Sin, N.L. & Lyubomirsky, S. (2009). Enhancing Well-Being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice- friendly meta- analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In session, 65(5), 467-489.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
New adventures are always fun, especially when they boost self confidence and brighten the mood. I am grateful to have recently accepted a new position working for a community non profit, a long time goal of mine. After leaving my job of five years, I was able to take a month long hiatus, allowing me to rejuvenate, reschedule and revamp.
Clearing both space and mind can have amazing benefits on your overall daily functioning and well being. Of course, one can say that when things are a mess we still "know exactly where everything is" and can tell you what pile that specific shirt or paper is in. There is some comfort in enjoying the sense of simply being in ones environment; soaking it in, for all its cluttered, disorganized, glory.
... Despite this, there is something to be said for breathing in a physically & visually pleasing, radiant, environment that you've made your own. Keep in mind, it is understood that life doesn't always allow us to have the space and privacy that we may crave, so this "space" can be a small one, not a total home overhaul.
These are some creative ways to spruce UP your space:
|Revamp any old box !|
- Enjoy relaxing and coloring a mandala then display it in your space. When you see the colors, patterns, and trace the shapes with your eyes, you will begin to associate looking at your masterpiece with the calming experience of coloring it, therefore promoting those relaxing feelings we love so much. Find some books online here -> Mandala Coloring Books.
|These are a few of my favorites!|
- Create your own Zen Garden. This ones easy! Put together a shoe box or small craft box, some plain or colorful sand, add small items, shells, beads, even figurines depending on the size of the box. For the rake I removed the foam tip of a craft paint brush, and cut a slit in the plastic to make a tool to stir the sand with, anything will do. (Rake idea credit: A.L, thanks!) This is a relaxing way to distract your mind, or it can be used as a play therapy sand tray, which helps to stimulate conversation more freely during times where opening up may be difficult. Staying a little busy while processing can sometimes be helpful (but always remember to come back to the present, and reflect after your mind wanders!) * Add an easy to care for succulent, cactus, or air purifying aloe plant
- Inhale the gooood stuff. As always, aromatherapy works wonders on ones mindset and mood, and is especially effective in a smaller space: cubicle, office, or even your car! Find a cool diffuser here- Car Diffuser * USB diffuser .. Of course, you can check out my Etsy Store --> Creative Coping at Home and purchase a custom roll on scent or room spray to use on the GO!
What blend will you choose??
Add a scene, or a picture of someone you love to enhance your space.
Sometimes seeing the face of a loved one can promote positive memories and ease our minds. In stressful situations, "looking" to someone for guidance allows us to focus on "asking" for the help that we need, or asking for guidance and advice. Simply thinking about what --- would do in a tough situation can help us figure out the next step and minimize anxiety. Silently reflecting on a relaxing /peaceful scene can also promote positive feelings.
Share what personal additions make your work space, or living environment dazzle-
Comment below & Be Well *