Posted in Communication, Inspiration, Learning, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Finding Balance In Life, Both Work And Play, Here’s How.

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Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create

Jana Kingsford

Look at that crazy man in the image above. Have you ever felt you were balancing on a wire above a wide-open space with a long, long way down? You are desperately trying to maintain that balance and not fall!

Life is all about maintaining balance. Keeping all your ducks in a row and not letting them drift away.

What do you think about each morning when you first wake up? Usually, I think about what is on the schedule today, what do I have to do? What is most important, what should I do first? Do I have to do that now or can it wait?

If I were still working for someone else, it would be more defined. My schedule is much more relaxed now, but it is still necessary to maintain one. I think everyone should have one.

It is all about balance. We have a list of things we need to do to maintain our personal life, and there is also a list for our professional life. There always seems to be an adjustment needed. There is the unexpected, something small which can be set aside for now or something big which you cannot ignore. Everything is interconnected and is affected by any change.

Some days it seems impossible. You want to scream, throw your hands up in frustration, and walk away. But you can’t. In most cases, we get through the day by doing one thing at a time, making adjustments as we go. You figure out a way to gain control again.

Tomorrow will be better. What if it isn’t? What if you are out of balance. Not just a little bit, but where all your connecting bits and pieces do not fit anymore. You feel drained of all your energy and are exhausted at the end of the day. You are irritated and out of sorts. Nothing is working, and you are not accomplishing what you need to do.

Help! What can you do?

First, think about all those bits and pieces and how you are attempting to manage them now. The way you are doing things is not working. You have to be committed to making a change. If you continue on the same course, nothing is going to change, and it will get worse.

It’s time to make some changes. Put your current plan, or schedule, on a paper or a chalk board. Something you can see clearly and it is easy to cross, or wipe, off as you make adjustments. Make an assessment. Remember you are trying to put every aspect of your life in focus. They all interconnect. You cannot change one without it affecting the other.

What should be in your plan? Maybe, you were leaving something out before and that is why your plan was not working. Make a list. It is so easy to concentrate on work but you leave out the personal stuff thinking you can squeeze it in. Nope, it does not work that way.

What should you include?

Work, that is how you make your living.

Your family and relationships. Their schedules all intertwine with yours.

Money and budgets, all the financial stuff, you cannot forget about that.

Health. Include time for physical fitness; it should be part of your schedule. You should also be including time for the doctor and dentist and all your, and your family’s health needs.

Socialization. Take time to be with friends and family.

Religion. You should also include time for any religious activity in which you want to participate.

What is the most significant, most important activity? What comes next? Start moving things around and keep making adjustments. It is the time to think about what needs to be part of your plan and what isn’t that important. Can you eliminate anything. What has value?

When you have a plan you think will work, put it into action, and see if it works. Keep making adjustments as needed. This activity warrants your time because it is what will keep your life in balance. It should not be something you do on occasion when you realize it no longer works. You need to assess what is working and what is not. It is much easier to make mini adjustments as they are required instead of a total overhaul.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. I’m so happy that reading is part of your schedule. It’s important. Have a wonderful balanced day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Brain Fog – Why Is Sleep So Important? What To Do To Support Good Sleep.

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Brain Fog. It feels weird. Do you know what I mean? You feel like you are having an out of body experience. You feel like you are dreaming or maybe sleepwalking. You sit there, and you cannot function.

There are times when we push ourselves a little too hard and wear ourselves out. You know it, you can feel it but, you keep pushing. That’s okay for a day, maybe two but any longer than that and your body starts to react. It is sending you a message. Slow down, rest, relax, get some sleep. If you do not listen, your body will continue to send you more messages. One of them is brain fog.

Good quality sleep is necessary for your mental health, physical health, safety and overall quality of life. Being deprived of good quality sleep will affect how we get along with others. I get grouchy when I am tired, does anyone else feel that way? Our reaction time slows down, and it is difficult to understand and to learn. Being sleep deprived can lead to chronic illnesses such as heart disease.

I forced myself to take a nap this week, not once but twice. I fought it, I did not want to take the time, but I have learned to tell the signs, and I finally gave in. I had been extra busy the past two weeks and was pushing myself to keep going. Once I had accomplished what I was focusing on, my body started sending me messages — time to rest.

So what can be do to make sure we are getting enough sleep?

  • Try to maintain a scheduled bedtime. Remember when we were kids? There was a reason for going to bed at the same time and also for getting up on schedule. You want it to be a habit. You have a natural sleep-wake clock within you called your circadian rhythm. Your brain controls your circadian rhythm, which works best when you maintain a set sleep-wake schedule.
  • Exercise is so vital for our overall well being. Walking, running, bicycling, swimming, lifting weights. All of these activities are good for us, mentally and physically and it helps us sleep.

According to John Hopkins Medicine and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, exercise helps us get good quality sleep.

“We have solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality,” says Charlene Gamaldo, M.D. , medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep 

Researchers don’t completely understand how physical activity improves sleep. “We may never be able to pinpoint the mechanism that explains how the two are related,” she says. 

However, we do know that moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get. Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate. Exercise can also help to stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, “a cognitive process that is important for naturally transitioning to sleep,” says Gamaldo.

  • Cut back on stimulants such as caffeine. The effects of caffeine can last up to 8 hours. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea and, oh no, chocolate. Not being a smoker, I did not realize that nicotine is also a stimulant. We all know smoking is bad for us, but if you do smoke, avoid it for a few hours before you go to bed.
  • Slow down your activity at least an hour before bedtime. Do not exercise strenuously before bed. Doing slow, gentle Yoga stretches have been shown to help promote good sleep because it releases tension held in your body and enables you to relax. Four relaxing Yoga poses to try can be found here: https://www.elitedaily.com/wellness/yoga-help-you-sleep/1812434
  • Step away from Social Media by turning off your computer and any apparatus with bright light. Do some reading before bed instead of watching the TV. Listen to soft music . Do some meditation.
  • Avoid eating large meals close to your bed time. You should not eat a full meal within 3 hours of your scheduled sleep time. Also, avoid any food that is spicy or acidic, which may cause heartburn. It is not beneficial to go to bed hungry, so having a light snack is okay. Try eating yogurt or a banana before bed or maybe a small bowl of cereal with some berries. Bananas contain serotonin and berries contain melatonin which helps support sleep. Drinking tart cherry juice which is also high in melatonin is also something to try.
  • Make your bedroom a restful haven. Soft, comfy sheets and blankets, and a great pillow will make you comfortable. Your bedroom should be quiet and dark, with only very dim lighting if needed. It should also be on the cooler side, between 60 to 65 degrees. Studies have shown that colder temperatures help stimulate sleep, and we will cycle naturally through sleep stages. A cooler sleeping environment will also support our natural melatonin levels.

If you do all of these practices and still cannot sleep or show signs of sleep deprivation, talk to your doctor about your concerns. There could be an underlying heath problem.

“… sleep deprivation is an illegal torture method outlawed by the Geneva Convention and international courts, but most of us do it to ourselves.” 

― Ryan Hurd, Dream Like a Boss: Sleep Better, Dream More, and Wake Up to What Matters Most

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a good night’s sleep.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How To Become A Better Writer. 11 Steps To Take To Improve Your Writing Skill.

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So you want to be a writer or you want to improve your writing? Me Too! Here are some tips I hope will help you on your journey!

After writing my last blog post I realized how much there is to learn as a writer and also what I have already learned. When I started my blog I considered myself to be a fairly competent writer, but not a “writer”. Competent, meaning I took writing in college and really enjoyed it and did well. I did a massive amount of writing to complete an accelerated college degree. My job required a certain amount of proficient writing.

Does that make me a writer? No, I still have so much to learn and I am eager to continue. I have read so many articles on blogs and writing. Articles on how to write title lines, how to be descriptive, why it is important to find your focus,

Here are some of the things you can do to become a better writer.

  • When you start writing it is important to pick a lane. At least for blogging. What do you want to write about? What are your interests? Do you want to write about fashion or art? Do you have expertise in a certain field that will potentially help others? Write about something you enjoy or is meaningful to you.
  • Write something. You have to start somewhere. It’s okay, you will look back later and (hopefully) see how far you have come and how much you have learned.
  • Edit. Don’t just write and hit the publish button. Read it, edit it, read it again and edit it again. Look for spelling errors, grammar errors and sentence structure. Do your sentences make sense or do they need to be rewritten. I read my blog posts over and over and I know I still make mistakes. I found I would be typing as I was thinking and sentences made sense to me. After rereading a few times I knew they might not make any sense to someone else.
  • Be concise. You can write something and use 20 words or say the same thing using 10 words. Which sounds better? Sometimes less is more.
  • Be descriptive. Write so that your content is engaging and brings the reader into the story. Your writing should draw them in and make them want to keep reading.
  • Title lines are really important because that is what a reader sees first. Write them so they are concise, interesting and offer the reader a benefit for reading.
  • The beginning of your blog or story should be powerful. Spend more time here than anywhere else. Write it in such a way that the reader wants more. Leave them hanging so they have to continue reading to find out what happens.
  • Read. Since starting my blog I am reading more and more. I read to learn and I read for my enjoyment. You will find so many different styles of writing. You will find you are drawn to certain writers. What is their style? How do they structure their writing? You will be influenced by many and from them, you will develop your own style.
  • Ideas. When I first thought about the possibility of writing a blog I took a notebook and started writing down ideas. Then I researched and made adjustments. Keep a small notebook and a pen with you all the time. When something pops into your head write it down immediately. Ideas will come to you at the strangest times like when you are exercising, mowing the lawn or taking a shower.
  • Scheduling a time and a place to write. This may not work for everyone and there does need to be some flexibility. Some people like to write early in the day and others prefer night time. It is truly beneficial to have a place to write where it is quiet and there are few distractions.
  • Feedback. Look for someone you trust to read your writing and hear their thoughts. Ask for suggestions, what was good, bad or indifferent?  Did they enjoy reading it? I know when I first started I was really hesitant about reactions but that is counterproductive now isn’t it?.

These are some of the things that I am doing or in the process of learning how to do better.  I am not an established blogger (this is my 5th month) nor am I an established writer.  I believe I have included some goods tips to follow for any type of writing. 

My advice is to do all of these things but to also research and look for more.  There is a multitude of articles some of which are really good and some not as much.  Look for the people with the most expertise and success. 

If you want to write, do it. Take a Journey. Start and see where it leads you. 

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As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day!