Yoga

4 Ways to Enjoy Some ‘ME Time’ Even If You Are Busy

Being an adult can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be very overwhelming because of the increased amount of responsibilities that you acquire over time. Your to-do list always gets longer as you progress through different stages in life and time is a precious commodity that you can’t afford to waste. If you have been struggling to make time to enjoy yourself or to do some activities to improve your overall wellbeing, take a look at the following 4 tips that can help you accomplish that:

Be Specific

Ask yourself these questions: What specifically do I want to do for myself? What does relaxing, resting, recharging or exercising mean to me? If you are very broad and schedule ‘free time’ for yourself, you are probably going to have a hard time deciding exactly what do to when that time comes, which can lead to wasted time, or you are going to end up yielding that space to on-the-go activities that come up. For example, if you are specific, you know what type of exercise you want to do, instead of just vaguely stating you want to workout. If you want to relax, be specific! Are you going to meditate, get a massage, go for a walk or take a nap? Be specific about what you want to accomplish, start with one or two activities a week and work your way up to integrate more.

Schedule It

Now that you know what you want, you can go ahead and put it in your calendar. This is where you make time for it and find time for yourself. This is as simple as scheduling a doctor’s appointment. You know at what time it is and where to be; by scheduling it you make sure you don’t miss it. So think of your ‘me time’ as the activities that help lift your spirit and keep you healthy. Schedule them just as you would schedule anything important. After all, you are very important!

Make time for yourself

Image: Jon Fife/ Flickr

Make It Non-Negotiable

Since these activities will probably help you be in a better mood, feel better, be healthier, be stronger, or be more relaxed, they should be regarded as non-negotiable and as part of your life habits. Don’t replace them once you have scheduled them unless an emergency needs your attention. Since you have them in your calendar and you understand that taking care of yourself is very important, block those times out. Those 30 minutes or that hour that you took for yourself will help you perform better throughout the rest of the day.

Get Accountability

If you really want to include new activities on your routine, getting some support along the way will make a huge difference. If your goal is to workout and be more active, getting accountability can be as simple as joining an exercise group and sharing your goals with the instructor so they can help keep you on track. You can also rely on your best friend or partner and ask them to keep you accountable, motivated, and to be supportive. Sharing with someone else what you want to accomplish and asking them to join your efforts will provide you with extra motivation!

Taking time for yourself is important; if you are not well, you can’t serve others well. Making time for yourself doesn’t mean you are neglecting other priorities in your life, it just means that you are also one of your priorities—perhaps the most important one since without your health and well being, none of the other priorities can be met.

We hope you are able to enjoy more ‘ME time’ from now on!

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Morning Yoga Routine

Rise and shine! Starting your morning off on the right foot can put you on track for a happy and productive day. A great way to do that is to implement a yoga routine into your morning schedule. Early morning yoga is great for regulating your sleep rhythm and balancing your hormones. Check out this morning yoga sequence:

What do you include in your morning routine?

National Hottie Month! (Teas and Their Benefits)

Tea bag in glass tea cup with glass saucer

You heard us. January is National hot tea month!

For ages, teas have been used and looked at as a staple for healthy beverages and pure delight. From bottled green tea energizing our yoga enthusiasts, Arizona Teas becoming all the rage, and who could forget good-old sweet iced tea from south of the Mason-Dixon.

In honor of hot tea month, we did a little digging and found the basic myths and highlights about teas. Hopefully, this can keep reminding us that just because it says “tea”, doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest option on the menu.

First the basics:

“Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.” (We found that gem of a description from WebMD)

Three steps on how to keep your tea simple and healthy:

What kind of tea did you choose? If you stop by your local café and order a Passion, Refresh or Vanilla Rooibos, you’re ordering an herbal tea. They are going to taste great because of they’re a fusion of plants, fruits, and flowers, but are not derived from the Camellia plant. This means that the antioxidants unique to tea are usually missing. Ask your barista what kind of tea your usual is. Ask them which tea would be most related if it is herbal or another fusion.

What are you adding to your tea? Sweet tea has a pretty strong hold on the southern states of the U.S. Filled with sugar (the more the better) iced sweet tea, can boost your daily calorie intake by up to 300 calories! (Per serving). Talk about drinking your calories. Other teas to look out for are stationed at your convenience store, bottled or canned. Remember to take a look at the label to see what the “tea” you’re buying is really made of. Watch out for preservatives, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners. Obviously, drinking that would be counterproductive if you’re drinking tea to get a jump start on your health consciousness.

**Do you add sweetener to the tea yourself? Try using natural enhancers like Agave or Honey! Any Tea-Bar should be equipped with a supply, and it gives your tea a holistic essence. Way better than dissolving a few packs of sugar, if you ask us.

What do you want your tea to do for you? Many have sought after green tea as a metabolism booster or black tea for a caffeine kick. Read this blog we found, 6 , to learn more about your favorites and to find new teas that could benefit your goals.

Three tea bags with classic background

So, tell us! What are your favorite teas? Have you made a switch from coffee to tea; what has your experience been? Leave your ideas in our comments section!

Meditation: A Simple Way to Manage Stress

Most people are or have been plagued by stress in their lives. Anything from work to family issues can cause stress on a person. If stress has you feeling anxious, tense and worried then you should consider trying meditation. This is a simple and fast way to help you feel more relaxed, even spending a few minutes a day in meditation can restore your calmness.

 

Anyone can practice meditation. It requires no special equipment and you can do it virtually anywhere you feel comfortable.

 

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It was originally meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. Nowadays, meditation is typically just used for relaxation and stress reduction. It is considered a mind-body complementary medicine, producing a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. Meditation will allow you to clear away the information overload that’s built up in your mind everyday contributing to your stress. You can practice everyday by focusing on steady breathing or central thoughts.

Research suggests that there are some physical health benefits as well. Meditation may help such conditions as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety disorders, asthma and even allergies! Meditation is not a replacement for traditional medical treatment, but may be a useful addition to your other treatments.

 

There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques to choose from. Here are a few detailed ways to meditate:

 

Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.

Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. You broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgment.

Transcendental meditation. You use a mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase repeatedly silently, to narrow your conscious awareness and eliminate all thoughts from your mind. You focus exclusively on your mantra to achieve a state of perfect stillness and consciousness.

Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.

Try out any of these techniques that you feel works best for you and what you enjoy doing. You can adapt your meditation to meet your needs at the moment. Remember there is no right or wrong way to enjoy all of the wonderful mind and body health benefits of meditation!