Even Just ONE Mindful Moment Matters

Many people have started to find their rhythm again after the hustle and bustle of the hectic season. Some are still looking to find their footing. Still, many others are looking to figure out the new normal for themselves amidst new goals. After so much activity and taming giant to-do lists, you might be finding it hard to focus on just doing ONE thing in this ONE moment. It might feel like it’s hard to see why just that ONE really matters unless it’s part of a bigger whole or has a grand agenda attached to it.

Here’s the thing – It’s natural to feel that way and, yet, it can hold us back from allowing in some of those very things that can help us get on the pathway towards exactly where we want to be so that we can cultivate the life experiences that are meaningful to us. In fact, one of my favorite things in the Mindfulness Matters group is a story about how just ONE simple act can have a tremendous impact on every single moment that follows.

Here’s the story:

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. 

One day he was walking along the shore.  As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.

So he began to walk faster to catch up.  As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. 

As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?”

The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.”

“I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”
 
“The sun is up and the tide is going out.  And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”
 
“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”
 
The young man listened politely. 

Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it
Into the ocean, past the breaking waves and said –  “It made a difference for that one.”

We can easily find ourselves getting caught in the whirlwind of life or even falling into a rut where it then becomes hard to just make ONE shift. It’s in those one small acts and moments where we can begin a new pattern for ourselves that allows us to make great gains. Each week in the Mindfulness Matters group, we take steps just like this to help bring in a powerful tool for turbocharging your life to quiet your inner critic, break out of your mental rut, and tune into your best self so that you can carve out the life that serves you best. I’m happy to talk to you about how this group can help you get where you want to be – you can easily get in touch!

In the meantime, what’s ONE thing you can do today to make sure you wrap up your day with greater clarity and a bigger smile than when you started it?

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch! Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the New Year!

Please feel free to comment and share your favorite Mindfulness tip with me! That way, we can spread the word together – because even just ONE act of Mindfulness matters!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

 

MORE Tips and Resources to Stay Mindful!

For many of us, the holiday season can be riddled with stressors, frustration, loneliness, or even disappointment. In the midst of that, we might even feel out of line because the holiday season is “supposed” to be filled with cheer and “should” have joy and merriment. This can lead us to feel even more frustrated, alone, and like we’re a bad person for our reactions.

Here’s the thing – even positive experiences and situations can bring with them some difficulty. We may not have influence on the long lines or the traffic jams – but we do have influence on the ways that those things impact us. Learning to navigate disruptions and the tough feelings that leave us feeling frazzled can be a really valuable skill for us so that we can really maximize the joy and connectedness we have throughout this holiday season.

I recently spent some time talking with Deborah Turner of Natural Awakenings and Rockland World Radio’s “Connections with Deborah Turner” to talk about some ways we can navigate our emotions this time of year. Whether you’re looking to celebrate a holiday or you’re feeling stressed juggling work and family life, this time of year can bring with it some challenges. Deborah and I talk through a number of ways to build your tools for more easily busting stress so that you can feel like your best self again.

Be sure to listen to the conversation HERE so that you can get some more tips on how to navigate difficult emotions, bust through the stress and frustration, use Mindfulness to sort through your never-ending to-do list, and even leverage more sleep this holiday season!

I really loved sharing these tips with everyone because I know the pressure that this time of year might bring for many of us can be intense and detract from our experiences. It’s important to me that sharing information about how simple tools like working on our sleep a bit differently or just noticing our breathing and using the cracks of time can bring with them  great gains. That way, we can start to feel more like ourselves and reconnect with the things and the people in our lives that bring us joy.

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self into the New Year!

Please comment below and share what stood out to you as your  favorite tip with me!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

 

Getting Some Sleep? Part 4

Last week, we looked at the processes that regulate sleep cycles. There are factors that can prevent this that we can easily modify in our lives.

Suggestions for modifying the amounts and timing of using these substances are part of “sleep hygiene” which we will explore in more depth next week when we take a closer look at some sleep solutions!

For many, alcoholic beverages tend to be relaxing and induce drowsiness. However, later in the night, as alcohol is metabolized, it leads to restless and disturbed sleep. The result is a far less refreshing sleep. Therefore drinking alcohol close to bedtime is generally discouraged.

Caffeine is a relatively long-acting stimulant whose effects may last for several hours after it is consumed. People differ greatly in the rate at which caffeine affects them and as a result, in the length of time during which it might impact their sleep. On average, 4–5 hours after a modest amount of caffeine has been consumed, about half the amount of caffeine continues to act as a stimulant in our brains. This activity may last even longer after higher levels of intake and in individuals who are particularly sensitive to its effects, including older adults. We therefore recommend limiting consumption of caffeinated beverages to the equivalent of no more than three, eight- ounce cups daily and avoiding consumption after lunch.

Cravings for nicotine can occur during the middle of night because nicotine has a short half- life of approximately 2 hours and therefore leaves the body fairly quickly. As the body breaks down nicotine, a person experiences withdrawal symptoms, such as agitation and tension. This leads to the consumption of more nicotine in order to reduce these symptoms. In other words, each dose of nicotine relaxes the tension and agitation that were produced by withdrawal from the previous nicotine consumption. This means that rather than relaxing tension from everyday stresses, nicotine only treats the tension and agitation that resulted from withdrawal from the previous intake. Because of this, if you smoke, it is best to avoid smoking at least two hours before bedtime.

Exercise too close to bedtime may have a negative impact on sleep. This is associated with the fact that exercise is activating. Exercise raises an our core body temperature and therefore may interfere with the daily drop in temperature before bedtime that supports sleep. For these reasons exercise should be avoided about four hours before bedtime. Gentle stretching exercises before bedtime are OK and may, in fact, be relaxing and, possibly even, supportive of sleep.

A heavy meal close to bedtime may lead to indigestion and sometimes reflux during the night, both of which may cause arousal in our physiology. The process of falling asleep slows down the digestive system. Because of this, going to bed before food is fully digested is a poor sleep practice and eating a heavy meal should be avoided about four hours before bedtime. Because feeling hungry may also interfere with sleep, a light snack can be OK. Eating in the middle of the night is also not a good idea because it sends alerting signals to our brain and can prolong the time you are awake.

Now, we’ve spent some time looking at how sleep works for us and why it’s important to support our best sleep on a regular basis. We’ve also started taking a look at how some things in our day to day lives can get in the way of us getting some good, quality, restful sleep. Next time, we will go through some best practices for promoting our best sleep so that we can wake up feeling refreshed, energized, calm, and ready to celebrate our life everyday!

If you’re looking for some tips on getting better sleep in the meantime, I shared some tips with Reader’s Digest recently that you can get started with.

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!