GO TO BED EARLY
Recently I was inspired to share 10 tips on how our surroundings might help improve our mood and outlook. To read more about what inspired me, see my post on LinkedIn Pulse HERE.
My FIRST TIP was about losing your mind in the present. My SECOND was about letting someone else guide you for a day. My THIRD one encourages you to try something new or something that you haven’t done for a long time, and the FOURTH TIP is about greeting someone you don’t know. The FIFTH was to reconnect with a loved one and my SIXTH TIP was to find inspiration.
Today I’d like to recommend that you go to bed early.
There’s much talk about the benefits of ample sleep – anywhere between 7 to 9 hours seems to be the recommended amount. The benefits seem to extend to weight loss, improved memory and other cognitive brain functions, immunity to depression and even boast long-term effects such as protection from heart disease and other degenerative illnesses.
The benefits I’d like to talk about is having the peace and quiet before bedtime to curl up with your favourite book, or your iPad to catch up with your favourite show on BBC iPlayer, or play WordsWithFriends online. While some of the suggested activities might not be best in other ways, what you do gain from the extra time on your own in the comfort of your cozy bed is some ‘me’ time that relaxes the body and mind!
Having some quiet time to yourself at the end of a busy day might be difficult to achieve, so if you make it a point to head upstairs (or down the hallway) to your bedroom before your partner joins you – or before you usually head to bed – you can reclaim some precious time for yourself that calms and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
Good for the body; good for the soul!
Next tip: Find some ‘me’ time.
Lose Your Mind
Last week I arrived in Florida and was inspired by its surrounding beauty. I wanted to share how we might be able to bottle some of the natural boosts that our surroundings might provide to improve our mood and outlook. To read more about what inspired me, see my post on LinkedIn Pulse HERE.
Today’s Tip is about letting go and being entirely consumed by the ‘here and now’. Some people call it meditation, others mindfulness, but to me, it is simply a way to take in the present to the exclusion of everything else that concerns us.
Let me show you what I mean. When I went for that inspirational first run on my arrival in Florida, I made a point of noticing what surrounded me. I noticed what was growing underneath my feet, I noticed the different shapes of leaves on the innumerable types of vegetation around, I noticed the different colours of the blossoms on them. I took in the different types of ducks and birds and their love affair with the sun – they all seemed serene and content with their lives – and the scent that lingered in the air that reminded me of a soft Spring meadow. I let all these senses take over my mind and gave in to their pull, letting go of anything else that may have been lingering in the back.
Now, I’m one of those people who finds it difficult to relax – running your own business is probably part of the issue, but I just seem to thrive on chaos! Sometimes, however, the buzz of a busy life is so overwhelming that the mind needs a rest and time to recharge its batteries. Losing your mind, therefore, in something simple like your surroundings is as easy as it is therapeutic. And only takes a few minutes.
The best part is, you don’t need to travel to warmer climes to get the benefits of this exercise! You can lose your mind wherever you are by simply noticing the little things around you. So next time you walk along to the store, look around and see what you notice: how old is that building you just passed? Is there anything interesting about its architecture? Does it tell a story of any kind? And what about the faces of those who pass you on your way? What are all these people thinking or feeling? Can you guess from just looking at them?
How about an outing to an art gallery or a concert? And when you’re there, can you lose yourself in a painting? Really see what the story the artist is telling us? Why did he/she paint the picture in that particular way? And what about that music piece? What story does it hold? Where does your mind take you when you close your eyes and listen to it?
These are only a few ways of losing your mind for only a short while. But the benefits are regenerative! Try it and let me know what you think.
My next tip in a few days will be “Play ‘Simon Says’!”