Gratitude + Organization = Calm

organization-Mosart 81 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Organize Your Calm

Thomas and I downsized back in 2015. Sold our house and got rid of a lot of stuff.

It was a relief and felt very freeing.

This last summer we downsized again, moving in to an even smaller apartment.

What is funny is I still have a hard time taking the time to clean.

Even though cleaning our apartment takes up a lot less time.

Part of it is that I have never found the gratitude for the place we live, or the things we own.

Valuing Stuff

Clothing, furniture and tools we use in our daily lives, like kitchen utensils, either have a purpose, or make things pretty.

Now, most of our things are practical and less pretty.

I do think that having things organized, regardless of their use, can make them pretty.

Clean lines and practicality have been two things that I really appreciate about design.

Looking around our little apartment, I see places where this can be improved.

I also see things that can be let go of, opening up more space.

Decluttering is a long process.

It takes a few cycles.

Gratitude Cycle

This next cycle can be a little bit more about appreciating what we own.

Being grateful for what it provides.

Recognizing the gift that owning it is.

If you I do not feel that way about something, maybe it is time to let it go.

My focus has been; “does it do something for me? Do I need it instead of want it?”

Switching that to gratitude takes away the judgment and guilt when it comes to what you want to keep.

I can see how it can build a home and not just a place to eat and sleep.

How do you find gratitude in your home and with the things you own?

Look to find appreciation for the equipment and your body, that helps you to train each day. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Getting More Worn Out…Your Recovery Sucks

worn By Asim18 [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Worn Out

If you find that each day that goes by you are getting more worn out.

You need to recover better.

Simple, but not easy.

Recovery from what eats up most of your energy is a challenging thing when that thing hasn’t ended.

If it is a room full of people and noise, like going to school, or if it is needing to be responsive, quickly.

Some people find recovery in the opposite.

Around a lot of noise, seeking out quiet allows them to recharge.

Being on call, ready for action. The action may work for their recovery.

Explore The Possibilities

Maybe short breaks throughout doing the thing that drains your energy is a way to not get worn out?

Every hour, if you can, chill for 10 minutes or so.

Listen to music, move, get some cold water.

Something that will help whisk you away and recharge your battery just a little.

Like plugging in your phone and putting it on flight mode for a fast recharge.

Whatever you do, try something. Don’t keep wearing yourself out.

What happens when your phone battery goes? Your phone stops working….

We do not want to experience that.

Is training a break for you?

For the Love Of A Cat, A Kitty Cat

kitty cat love

Kitty Cat Love

Kitty cats are one way to de-stress in life.

There are shops in Japan that only have kittens for people to come in and pay to play with.

It is a way for some people to get love, positive touch and a time-out from their everyday.

They do not have to worry about cleaning the litter box, or losing the kitten as it’s becoming a cat.

Cat Carers

I like having an animal in my life, daily. One that I need to take care of.

It brings me joy and a sense of purpose outside myself.

I am not a crazy cat lady though. There are not any outfits, or play dates.

I see my cat as another animal to share space with. Thomas and I are her animals.

She may rely on us for the basics like shelter and food, but she would not have too.

I rely on her for cuddles and entertainment. Ever watch a cat or kitten video? You know they are entertaining creatures.

Importance of Touch

Lucky for ust cats have soft fur. Even those that are allergic can not help but touch their soft fur.

I find that having the cat purring and cuddling is really relaxing to me. When it is cold it is also nice to have her body heat warming my lap.

Finding ways to take the edge off of stressful moments helps me with finding ways to be resilient.

The cat may not always be around, so relying on a cat as the only way to chill is not a great idea.

Finding internal resiliency and confidence in who you are will help more when you need to navigate stressfull times.

A little Now and Then

Finding more than one way to de-stress is a great thing. Different ways means you have different techniques you can apply, at different times.

What external and internal ways have you found to help you take down your stress levels?

Hope you get a chance to train today. Cheers!!

 

 

Calling Out Your Gremlins

Calling Out Your Gemlins

Gremlins Need To Be Checked

Gremlins who live in our minds can be managed by labeling them and addressing them head on.

If you are anything like me, you have a bunch of gremlins residing in your mind.

My loudest and most pervasive gremlin is the “not good enough” one.

She likes to remind me of my shortcomings and “failures”, at times when I feel the most vulnerable and insecure.

Which, of course, is not the most helpful time to be thinking of those things.

Pilling on negative feelings is not the best way to get my bearings and be prepared to learn new things.

It can be challenging to step back and gain perspective if all that is visible is your own navel.

Step Back

In order to step back try labeling and “placing” where your gremlins hang out in your head.

To silence my “not good enough” gremlin (lets call her  Ms. Dehoth) I have been reaching a point where I can’t take anymore and retreat by running away.

This cuts into productivity and performance abilities.

I recently heard someone talk about addressing their gremlin directly and saying “I hear you, but guess what you are being transferred to the cheering section. So sit right here and don’t say anything unless it’s positive.”

Even though it sounded silly to do, after some practice, the negative voices subsided and more positive voices broke through.

Bench Them

Whenever Ms. Dehoth shows up, I am going to bench her. She has to sit out from running Christine’s mind gig, until she has something positive to say.

Instead I am going to put in Mette. Mette is based of a woman I saw on TV in Norway this summer.

Whenever she felt the weight of what she was doing, she cheered herself on, saying out loud “you got this”, “you can do this”, etc.

She kept going, and kept adapting, to each situation she came up against.

How do you silence your gremlins?

Add a little strength, mentally and physicality while training today. Cheers!!

 

 

Check One Task Off Your List To De-Stress

task-By user:Jossifresco [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Long Task List?

Sometimes our task list can get out of control.

To many things needs to get done and they all seem to need to be done at the same time.

How can you focus so that you can get at least one thing of your list?

Managing your email is one area that can help keep you focused.

It may be nice to preview your emails, but it can also be like running from one fire to another.

The next thing you know you are in the middle, trying not to burn.

Knowing your priorities is another way to know which task to tackle first.

Once that one is don, it can be a release on getting other things done, or give you a little more room to breathe.

Perspective

Wanting to have high standards helps you to achieve great things. It can also hold us back, if we let it.

Defining what is a reasonably high standard and keeping it front and center will help to not chase perfectionism.

When was the last time you experienced a high level of customer service?

How was that possible?

Were there enough people providing the service? Did the procedures they use make the service seem effortless?

If you have ever visited Disney, you know that having enough people to provide a service, with a clear idea of what that service is, and how to go about it, creates an effortless experience for both the guest and (seemingly) the staff.

Checking It Off

Checking a task off your to-do list is a great feeling. It allows you to move on and see what lies ahead.

How do you stay focused? What do you do as a sign a task is done?

Check of training for today. Cheers!!

Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Setting Expectations For What Works For You

expectations-By Christopher Beland [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Expectations That Work For You

Expectations that work for you may not be the same expectations that work for someone else.

When you are learning something new, you have your own way of processing information.

In order to learn quick and fast knowing how you learn can help.

Maybe you do not learn quick and fast, but once you learn something it sticks and you are precise with  what you do.

Managing Others Expectations

Knowing yourself allows you to manage the expectations of others and to voice your own.

Sometimes it is as simple as a time line of when things can be done.

You know you will learn it, if you take your time and are very methodical up front.

Maybe if your practice is haphazard, what you are learning will take more time to become a process you can move through quickly, with accuracy.

Speaking up about what you are experiencing and what you would like to see happen will help you and others to move in a more positive direction.

Speaking the Same Language

When you are talking with people about your expectations, realize that they maybe be using the same words but with a different perspective.

Their perspective maybe causing assumptions, or filling in blanks, in a direction you may not even have thought of.

If you want clarification, ask probing questions about what they mean, or what they are experiencing.

These conversations may feel a bit uncomfortable and yucky.

Once you make it through to the other side, you will hopefully have a more clear understanding of what it is you and others expect, and how they align.

One and Done

This is not a one and done scenario.

You may have to have a few of these conversations before a mutual set of expectations can be found.

That is OK. Have as many as are needed.

What you want out of your training today is an expectation you set for yourself. Cheers!!

 

Chilling Out With A Furry Friend or Two

furry friends

Furry Friends

Furry friends are one of the best incentives to chill out and relax a little.

Today was a long day of moving. I am finally slowing down to write a post and I am greeted by a white furry tummy looking to be cuddled.

It was perfect timing for a bit of inspiration about learning to de-stress.

I grew up with animals and have always found them a comfort, plus a way to have a little bit of a routine.

Cats are a little too easy to take care of in my opinion.

There is not as much activity and structure needed to take care of a cat.

Having dogs has helped make me a responsible person and conscientious.

Dogs and Empathy

An interesting question is if dogs can help develop empathy in people.

There are prison programs that have inmates responsible for training a service dog.

One of the outcomes of that program is feeling empathy for the animal, by responding to what their needs are.

Since they can not verbally tell you what they need, a person has to pay real close attention to their behavior and learn to read their body signals.

That is for the basics of food, bathroom, and cuddles.

Dogs also like to be useful.

They like to learn and be part of activities.

Training them and yourself to do a task or to behave better helps create a bond that can become a strong connection.

Feeling that connection can help a person feel more at peace and have the capacity to let go of stress.

Mystery

Animals are a mystery to us.

Some people are so intrigued they spend their life time trying to understand specific animals.

Their efforts provide us insights to behavior in general and why connection to the world is such an important part of feeling content in life.

Do you have animals in your life? If so, what is it that you get out of being with them?

Training with a furry friend can add a little fun to your day too. Cheers!!

Pacing Your Day For New Challenges

pacing your self for a new rythym

Planning Steady Pacing

How to get through a new situation…plan steady pacing.

What do I mean?

I find if something has a rhythm it is easier to adapt to.

So when facing a new challenging, like starting a new job, I need to prepare for a new pace.

The last few years I have had more of a random rhythm to my days.

Going by how I feel at the moment instead of what needs to be done.

I have had that privilege because there is a delay in the work I need to do.

Now I will be taking on work that has more immediacy.

I will need to be on my game. Needing to react and problem solve at a much quicker pace.

Rest Up, or Trial

Do I rest up and enjoy the few days of a slower more feeling driven pace or do I train for what lays ahead.

For me it will be less stressful to practice a more immediate pace.

To be more reactive and ready for action.

How do I do that?

Imagery and running scenarios may be a way to prepare for a change of pace.

Trying out a few days that are more intense and demanding.

How about a slow build-up, just like training for a running race.

If I imagine everyday as a 5k, how would I get there.

Take the time it will take to complete the task and divide by two, then be active for that duration of time.

That I can do.

If I am looking at on average of eight hours a day with a few breaks, then I start off trying to stay busy and mentally challenged for 4 hours, with a couple of breaks.

Learning and understanding how to build up to do an activity in one area may help with another part of your life.

How about you? Have you had to prepare for a new pace in life? How did you do it?

Get up, get ready, and train. Cheers!!

Break Out and Smash Your Stress Away

smash-By Tabercil [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Smash Away Stress

To smash your stress away, try to break out of the “norm” and do something different.

If you already have a movement practice that provides randomness and exploration then go for it!

If you do not, consider trying something new.

Why?

It takes a lot of concentration to learn a new way to play, move, train, etc.

It is hard to stress about everyday things when your brain and body are occupied with trying to figure out what to do next.

Step Away to Manage Stress

One way you might like to try to manage stress is to simply step away from it.

Figure out a way to forget about what is going on with you, that is also healthy.

Not with the intent to never think about what is stressing you again, but with the intent to gain perspective.

Getting a bit of distance and feeling rejuvenated can provide a way to switch your approach to what has been stressing you.

Play is a great one. Especially something new and unexpected.

If you get to interact with other people at the same time, even better. A lot of times games with other people provide give and take, plus instant feedback.

For example, a game to increase your mobility without feeling like you’re stretching with a purpose is “follow the hand”.

Follow The Hand

You and a partner will face each other with your feet a little wider than hip width apart.

One person will be following the other persons hand. The “Hand Follower” HF is not allowed to move their feet.

They will be following “The Hand” (TH) with their eyes. Trying to stay at least 6-12″ from TH.

They can duck, shift, twist, bend, what ever they need to do to keep following the hand.

TH is allowed to move but is not allowed to make it so hard the HF falls over, or can not reach the hand.

Play nice, because you get to switch.

Do the following for a minute, then switch who is the HF and TH.

Be creative and test your limits of flexibility and mobility as you loosen up, get warmer, and take a stress break.

Hope your training will de-load stress for you today. Cheers!!

Hot, Hotter, Hottest Days of Summer

summer hotness

Hot Summer Days

Oh what to do with the hot, to hottest, days of Summer?

First there are things to be mindful of, I’m going into MOM mode here; Sunscreen hydration, and keeping cool.

Twenty minutes of sunshine is the most you need for a dose of vitamin D. Anything more and sunscreen is a must.

If you are active outside and going to get wet from sweat or water, then consider choosing active-wear sunscreen.

You will need to still reapply, but not as much as when using regular sunscreen.

There is a debate about what factor is really necessary and actually helpful. The latest we saw is factor 50. Still reapply as directed on the label.

I personally like to use a sunscreen on my face that is designed for that use only.

I find them to be less oily and I do not feel like I am sealed in.

Hydration

When it is as hot as it has been, planning ahead is not a bad idea. If you plan on being active outside, pre-hydration can keep you running smoothly.

Drinking water with a pinch of salt, a.k.a with electrolytes, will help keep you balanced so you do not get too watered down.

If you want an indication of how hydrated you are, take a look at your urine.

A light yellow color is a good shade to have. Anything darker, drink some more. Anything lighter, then skip along with no stress.

Remember that fruits and veggies have fluid in them and will aid you in staying hydrated. If a watermelon popped into your head right now, you are not alone.

Keeping Cool

Wearing breathable clothes and sticking to the shade, or even air conditioning, makes managing the heat more pleasurable.

Right now it is 94F (34.4C) in Colorado.

I am sitting outside, in the shade, of the house I am staying at. There is a slight breeze that feels a little cooler than the air.

It feels real pleasant and I can not tell it is as hot as it actually is.

I have a cotton tee shirt and capris on. Both are black, but with staying out of the sun, they are just fine.

What tricks do you have to manage hot, hotter, hottest summer days?

Training in the early morning, or late afternoon is another way to beat the heat. Cheers!!