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Positive Practices for a Productive Commute 

Positive Practices for a Productive Commute

With rush hour traffic, projects waiting for us at our desks and an overall busy homelife, we rarely think of our mornings as relaxing. To make things worse, we often get to work only to have to deal with awful mental blocks or that nagging feeling that we’re wasting time on menial tasks –– you know, those times where you feel like you’ve done so much yet accomplished nothing? Well, a hectic and stressful morning routine can be the culprit to this unhealthy cycle.

 

According to a recent survey by Car Rentals on morning commute practices, a busy and stressful commute can hinder our focus and productivity at work. The survey found that nearly 40% of people ages 18-24 think about work on their way to and from work. This inability to disconnect can not only lead to mental blocks and added stress, but can also cause us to feel burnt out.

 

If your morning commutes are often jammed packed and hectic, perhaps incorporating a few new healthy morning practices can help you better organize, compartmentalize and decompress before getting to work and back home. Below are some simple practices you can implement aimed to reset your mind, help boost your productivity at work and hopefully encourage you to improve your work-life balance.

9 Power Napping Tips for Boosted Productivity and Positivity

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Looking on the Bright Side

Most of you know, I’m a HUGE proponent of looking on the bright side of things.  I am always looking for the good in the bad.  I may not always find it, but I do look.  That being said, I had a very interesting conversation in the writing class I am taking.  The instructor had asked to see a copy of my book Thinking Positive: Take the Journey into Positivity, so with much fear and quivering hands, I gave her a copy last week. At the end of class last night, we talked about it and one of the women in the class asked if it was all touchy feely, looking on the bright side.

Now, I don’t think it really is, and I told her as much, and she was relieved.  She then went on to relate a story.  Her mom was terminally ill, and she called a friend to talk about it, and that friend responded with, well look on the bright side, you’ll get to see your brothers.  I was appalled.  There are times when you can be looking on the bright side, and there are times when you just need to grieve, vent and rail against the universe.  For that woman, it was one of those times.

Don’t get me wrong, while there is nothing good about this woman losing her mom, I probably could find some positive things going on in life.  I would never, in a million years ever tell her that! Sometimes, you just need to let it be.  In my mind, that is one of those times.  So while I am a huge fan of looking on the bright side, and I always encourage people to do so, I try to read my audience so to speak, and I advise you to do the same.  In the case of the woman in my writing class, I may have said – think about the joy you can bring to your mom when you and your brothers are together reliving the good memories.  That will bring her so much happiness.  That puts the emphasis on her mom (where it should have been all along) and given her something positive to focus on but without the “oh look on the bright side” comment.

I am, and always will be looking on the bright side, and I will always encourage everybody to do the same.  I just hope that I will be cognizant of the emotional state of other people at the same time.  While I always want to spread the positivity bug, I also want to be a good and supportive friend.  So I guess while I’m looking on the bright side, I’ll look out for my friends as well.

I know my blog posts usually deal with the Daily Positive Thought, so I’ll add that in here!

The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it. – Marcus Aurelius

I really like this quote because it’s not just me that’s changing, or you, but the entire universe!  Change is pretty much a given thing, and we can make of it what we want.  We can accept it and roll with it and make the changes positive. Conversely, we can hold on to the status quo and have a knock down drag out with change and be dragged into it kicking and screaming.

To me, this is where looking on the bright side can come into play. Change happens and you and your attitude will determine whether that change is positive or negative.  If you fight the change and resent it, it’s probably going to be negative, but if you embrace it, and work with it, it will be what you want it to be.  Something good and positive.

I try very hard to accept change.  Do I always?  No, of course not.  Sometimes I do fight it, kicking and screaming all the way and I’ve noticed, the times that I do, well they never turn out just the way I want them to.  When I embrace change wholeheartedly, and view it in a positive light, it tends to go much better for me.  Hopefully I’ll get to a place in my life where I do it more consistently.  Hopefully, you will as well and we can cruise on into the future together.

 

3 Ways to Empower Yourself to be Prepared

3 Ways to Empower Yourself to be Prepared

 

No one likes thinking of an emergency situation. We focus on the positives and try to avoid negative “what if” thoughts. This mindset can be good because it’s impossible to prepare for everything, but it can also be harmful if you aren’t prepared at all.

 

Luckily, you can find a balance between the two. There are 3 things you can do to empower yourself to be better prepared for an emergency. These simple actions will help you live more confidently and positively in your daily life.

1. Make a plan with your family

It can be scary to think about an emergency situation impacting your family, but creating a rough plan will help if anything were to happen. This plan will vary based on where you live, but it should include a family meeting place and an emergency kit with food and supplies. Everything might not go as planned if something were to happen (it usually doesn’t) but having a plan will help you feel safer in your daily life. This sense of security will calm any “what if” thoughts.

 

 

 

 

2. Have an emergency contact list

Emergency situations can come in all shapes and sizes. Be sure you have all the phone numbers you may need on hand. This will save time and remind you what action is needed. To help, here is a list of emergency phone numbers and a printable that has every number you might need to know. Fill it out and keep a copy in your home and your car just in case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. Learn to live in the moment

Lastly, but most importantly, a daily practice that can help you prepare for an emergency is learning to live in the moment. Take on each day as it comes and learn to embrace each moment for what it is. Doing this in your daily life will give you a sense of strength and confidence. If anything were to happen, you would be able to tackle it.

 

We can’t be ready to handle everything that life throws at us but being prepared can lead to a happier and more positive life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Travel Differently in 2020

Travel Differently in 2020

Six Ways You Can Make the World a Better Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source

In the past couple of years, people are being more aware of how important it is to be sustainable. It started mainly with food and clothes but people are realising that you can do sustainable travel, have fun and still contribute to the Earth. Most of us are not aware that travellers are the best promoters for celebrating and taking care of our world. 2020 is the time to choose a different approach to travel and support sustainable development.

Help Save Coral Communities in Seychelles

If you like beaches and golden sand, The Indian Ocean’s Curieuse Island is the best option for you. It is known for the giant tortoises, golden sand and massive sea coconuts. This is where you can see the unfortunate effects of climate change, especially in the Marine National Park. Instead of laying out on the beach and staying in an expensive resort you can get involved in a program that helps evaluate the health of the waters that surround the coral reefs and the coastal ecosystem by measuring the growth of the corals. In your free time, you can do all the fun things like snorkeling, explore the beaches or layout in the sun.

Exploring Whales in the Norwegian Arctic

Instead of going whale watching and leaving a massive carbon footprint behind you, think about going with exploring whales. You can apply for programs that will have you investigate male sperm whales, listen to humpback whales or killer whales communicate with special equipment. Another fun thing you can do is record data that you got and learn to decipher whales’ sounds and help their research. While you are doing amazing work you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking mountains and amazing glacial lakes.

Help Elephants in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations of 2020. But there is no need to be like everyone else and just layout on the beach and drink cocktails, instead of that go and do some volunteer work. There’s nothing more magical than helping elephants in Chan Mai. There are open projects all year round and you need to be 17 years or older to participate. You can meet some amazing people while staying in the rooms that the organisation provides for the volunteers. Thailand is also the most popular destination for people who are interested to volunteer overseas.

Investigate Volcanoes in Iceland

If you are interested in volcanoes this might be the best option for you. Because Iceland is the place to be if you want to explore the seismic activity and learn about magma flow. There is the famous Earthwatch Institute that will let you get involved and help them. You will be able to help them create maps that will document all the disturbances that volcanoes can cause underneath the surface and you will help predict any future eruptions. You will get to travel and see the breathtaking glacier-capped volcanoes in the South and Iceland’s most popular Krafla volcano in the north. The trip will also include walking across amazing lunar-like landscapes while recording your discoveries.

Saving Turtles in Costa Rica

All of us have heard about Costa Rica and its amazing beaches, food and forests. Many people refer to it as a Paradise on Earth. Because of its beauty, Costa Rica attracts millions of tourists and volunteers, and now that people are being more aware of 2020 will be the best year for volunteer work. As more and more people are interested in volunteering there are many projects like the Turtle Conservation Program that you can apply for. Your days will usually consist of monitoring turtle eggs and keeping the beaches clean. Some projects are active and available throughout the year and the minimum age to apply for it is 17. They will provide you with accommodation that is close to the beach so it is easier to manage your time. During your time off you will be able to venture off and explore or enjoy the magical beaches. The most important thing is that you are being the unique individual that you are and what you are aware that you are doing great things that will contribute to the wellbeing of the Earth.

Take Care of Kangaroos in Australia

If you are interested in helping with wildlife rescue or saving the environment Australia is the way to go. There are organisations that you can help to protect the native wildlife, parks that are along the coastline and protect the tropical forests. There are so many options you can choose from. If you are an animal enthusiast, you can apply to help out in a rehabilitation centre where you will help to take care of orphaned or injured kangaroos. During your free time, you can experience Australia’s amazing beaches and rainforests.

 

Going on a vacation is not supposed to be an excuse for putting more fumes in the air. Wherever you choose to go you can seek a volunteering organisation that could use your help. While you at your destination choose to rent bikes instead of using buses and cars. The most important thing that you need to do is to make sure that you are happy.

 

 

Nina is a lifestyle blogger, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. In her free time, she loves to design clothes and furniture. If you wanna see what she’s up to you can find her on https://twitter.com/NinArtSimons

7 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

7 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem refers to how you view your worth. Whether you are aware or unaware of it, your evaluation or perception of yourself in terms of your capabilities, potentials, and emotional and physical features affects your lifestyle, academic or work performance, relationships, and other life concerns.

Because of this, self-esteem plays a crucial role in helping you develop and maintain relationships, find success in school or work, and stay mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy.

Since a healthy dose of self-esteem can do wonders for various aspects of your life, you need to know when and how to give it a boost, especially at times when you know it has taken a hit.

Leading providers of professional clinical supervision services share some helpful tips below on how to improve your feelings of self-worth:

1.    Practice positive affirmation

Everyone hears discouraging and unkind words from time to time. The popularity of social media has also made it easier for people to post whatever they want to say about others, even if these remarks are hurtful and harsh.

If your self-confidence has taken a dip because you heard or read something upsetting, avoid letting these words take root in your mind. Instead of remembering them, forget about them. You will have an easier time doing this by coming up with and repeating positive affirmations.

Create a list of things you like about yourself, what you are good at doing, and your accomplishments. The simple act of writing down and reading about your positive attributes will boost your mood immediately.

Additionally, the more positive qualities you write down and remember, the more you will boost your trust and confidence in yourself. You will then feel empowered and more self-assured, ready to take on the activities and challenges at hand.

2.    Stop comparing yourself to others

There is nothing wrong with following the status of your friends, colleagues, and the people you know on social media. However, if you start envying and comparing yourself to them, you may need to take a break from these sites.

Comparing your skills and accomplishments to others won’t do anything good for you. You will always feel that they are still a step above you and that you will have your work cut out for you when you try to catch up with them.

Because of this, you will have something else that will occupy your mind. And this will lead to feelings of discontent and low self-esteem.

Although it can be hard to avoid comparing yourself to others altogether, try to do so. Additionally, don’t act on this to minimize feelings of competitiveness that will also ultimately affect your sense of self-worth.

3.    Do something nice to others

When you are feeling really low, you will be focused on your weaknesses, both real and imagined. If you continue concentrating on these limitations, you will never get out of your funk.

You can avoid focusing on the causes of your low self-esteem and feel better when you turn your attention toward another person.

Help a co-worker who seems to be swamped with work and has to submit a report before the day ends. If a friend looks burnt out due to juggling housework and taking care of toddlers, offer to babysit the kids so that she can go out for a few hours of pampering. You can also volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter.

By doing something good for someone else or the environment, your focus shifts. You will stop fixating on your negative thoughts, and you will start thinking more positive things about yourself.

4.    Get more exercise

Various studies show that regularly working out and engaging in physical activities can increase self-esteem. They can improve mental health as well.

Exercising empowers your mental, emotional, and physical faculties. While working out, you focus only on the task at hand and forget your worries. As a result, you will have a clearer mind, and you will be better prepared for any ensuing tasks.

Additionally, whenever you complete your workout, you will feel a certain sense of accomplishment. And this will immediately give your confidence a boost.

When you maintain a healthy weight and stay in good shape, you will improve your perception of yourself as well.  This will go a long way in helping you be more confident and avoid feelings of discontent.

5.    Look your best

Your physical appearance usually reflects how you feel inside. For instance, if you’re feeling down, you will feel lazy or lack the motivation to put on makeup and choose a great outfit.

Consequently, your outward appearance can affect your emotions and thoughts as well. As such, if you feel your self-esteem is low, pamper yourself and experience its positive effects.

Go to a salon and get a haircut. If you want to do something simpler, take more time to put on your makeup and style your hair. Another option would be to wear that new dress or pair of shoes that you’ve been saving for a special occasion to help you feel better about yourself.

Don’t think of these activities as being vain or superficial; consider them as ways of practicing self-care. Keep in mind that looking great will boost your confidence and improve your mood, so don’t hesitate to try doing them.

6.    Try a change of scenery

Going to a place you have never been to will help you break out of a low self-esteem cycle.

Trying a new restaurant, taking a walk to a park you have never been to, or going on a holiday to a city you have never visited are great examples of doing something you like to give your self-esteem a boost.

Going somewhere you’ve never been to can quickly rejuvenate your mind and disrupt any negative thought patterns you may have.

Additionally, a change of scenery can give you a fresh perspective and the motivation you need to start making positive changes.

7.    Do something out of the ordinary

Lastly, aside from experiencing a change of scenery, lift your self-confidence by doing something you have always wanted but never got the chance to do.

This can be something as simple as pursuing a hobby such as gardening or photography or engaging in something more exciting such as an extreme sport. You can also take up a short course that will help you grow personally and professionally.

By trying something new, you will get out of your low self-esteem cycle as well. You will have something else to focus on instead of your negative thoughts.

Moreover, you will achieve a sense of accomplishment when set out to do the things you want to do. This will increase your self-esteem more than anything else.

Although these tips may seem easy enough to follow, certain challenges can still come up that may prevent you from seeing them through.

However, every little step counts when you want to boost your self-esteem, so if you can only start with something simple, do so. You will still feel an increase in your self-worth by taking these small strides.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Gemma Gladstone is an endorsed clinical psychologist and certified schema therapist, supervisor and trainer. Along with Justine Corry, she is co-director of the Good Mood Clinic in Sydney and has 24 years of experience within mental health.

 

 

The Benefits of Power Napping at Your Day Job


What if I told you taking power naps could actually make you happier? I can imagine you wouldn’t need any more convincing to hit snooze the next chance you get. Studies show that 66% of short nappers and 56% of longer nappers report feeling happier and more energetic during their long workdays.

Yet, most workplaces haven’t discovered the positive impact power napping has on moods, productivity, and a handful of other health benefits. Hitting snoozed once your 3 pm slump hits is still frowned upon in the workplace, making most reach for their 3rd cup of coffee instead.

Sleeping is commonly known to happen in the comfort of your own home, all snuggled up in your bed, which makes sense as your home is the place you go to relax and recharge.

How Counting Sheep on the Clock Can Improve Your Work Performance

The Benefits of Power Napping at Your Day Job

Call it what you want, but having a little mid-day power nap siesta actually holds profound benefits for your overall mood and well-being.

 

Typically, power naps range from 10 to 20 minutes long, and it is meant to revitalize you more than a cup of coffee. Research show this length of time is the sweet spot for midday sleeping, reason being, it’s just enough time for you to reap the benefits of sleep without dealing with “sleep inertia,” the groggy feeling you might be familiar with after sleeping for several hours.

 

Here are the 5 benefits that come along with a quick snooze:

  1. Improve learning and memory
  2. Less stress
  3. Boosts mood and creativity
  4. Increased productivity and alertness
  5. Decreased risk of heart disease

 

Now, not all workplaces are open to the idea of you getting a couple extra Z’s on the clock. That being said, there are a couple innovated ways to getting your midday snooze in at work.

Innovative Ways to Hit Snooze During Your Workday

  1. Take your nap early
  2. Find the right location
  3. Create an ideal sleeping environment
  4. Keep it brief
  5. Take advantage of sleeping apps

Wear the Right Attire

We wouldn’t blame you if you wore loungewear, but unfortunately, this isn’t something workplaces normally let you show up in. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in some comfy work-appropriate attire.

 

To learn more about the benefits of napping in the workplace—and to see what companies out there support sleep in the workplace—check out the infographic below.

The Benefits of Power Napping at Work

How to Take Risks Like a Stunt Driver

How to Take Risks Like a Stunt Driver

If your dreams don’t scare you, are you sure they’re big enough? It’s easy to fall into complacency, especially when life is so busy most of the time, but setting goals can help you stay on track and grow as a person. Sometimes our goals and dreams seem risky — whether it’s a fear of failure, getting hurt, or losing something. However, passing up every opportunity to grow means you may miss out.

 

Taking risks sometimes gets confused with being reckless, but that’s not the case. There are small risks you can take each day to grow as a person. It may be reaching out to someone new and inviting them out to dinner or as small as trying out a new restaurant out of your normal routine. Larger risks may be making a move to a new city or completely changing your career path. Something all of these risks have in common is uncertainty and an opportunity for growth.

 

For a fun spin on risk-taking, we can look to some of the most daredevil professionals out there: stunt drivers. These risk-taking lessons from stunt drivers show us that there are times to take risks and other times we should play it safe.

 

Look for more opportunities to take risk in your life and discover the reward of taking a chance!

Please include attribution to https://www.thezebra.com/ with this graphic.

risk-taking-lessons-stunt-drivers

15 Ways to Make Saving Money Fun

15 Easy Ways to Make Saving Money Fun
Matt Zdun

We all know that saving money is important for our future wellbeing. But, at the same time, it can be pretty difficult and not always the most fun thing to do.

In some cases, just thinking about saving money can bring you down. Studies show that a large chunk of adults — 85% — feel stressed about money from time to time, and a sizeable 30% of adults are constantly stressed about money.

It’s not hard to see why this is the case when you consider the fact that almost half of adults don’t have emergency savings set aside for unexpected life events, like the loss of a job or the illness of a loved one.

If you have struggled with saving money and find the whole process difficult or not enjoyable, you’re not alone. But the good news is that there are plenty of resources that bloggers, authors, and app developers have given us to spice up the process of saving money.

Credit.com has compiled a roundup of tips and tricks to make saving money fun and keep you in high spirits in the process. Check it out:

Please include attribution to credit.com with this graphic.

15 Ways to Make Saving Fun

The Benefits of Mindful Meditation

The Benefits of Mindful Meditation

Krista Harper

 

Meditation has been around for thousands of years. Initially, the practice was linked with certain spiritual aspects of some religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. It was used as a technique to help people achieve a higher plane of discipline in the said religion. It has evolved over time, however, with much of today’s discussion about meditation focusing on its benefits upon the wellness of the body and mind. Men and women of science have come out to show the positive changes that the body and mind can undergo as a result of consistent and mindful meditation.

What is Mindful Meditation?

Although there are many different meditation techniques, mindful meditation is one of the best and most effective. The trick here is to focus your mind on your very own experiences and make the conscious decision to focus upon your sensations, emotions, and thoughts in the present. Here the person meditating must be aware of their body and mind, practice breathing techniques for focus, mental imagery and muscle relaxation. When you focus on your experiences, a lot of things that were shrouded before suddenly become very clear.

 

Benefits of Mindful Meditation

Practicing mindful meditation is quite effective and offers practitioners a wide array of benefits to help nourish the body and mind. Some of these include:

 

Better sleep

Sleep is a crucial part of our lives. With proper sleep, you are more likely to find yourself in a great mood and feeling well balanced, full of energy and sharp as a whip. When you practice mindful meditation, you are able to clearly see what is keeping you from having a good night’s sleep.  This way, you have avenues to address the problem and achieve better sleep. According to certain research, mindful meditation has even helped older adults with sleep problems improve their quality of life by elevating their quality of rest.

 

Lowering stress

Stress is one of the few things that can cause us to get sick emotionally and also have a physical manifestation by evolving into other illnesses. Due to the fast-paced lives most people lead, we find that people don’t have an appropriate outlet for their stress. Therefore, it simply continues adding up to the point where everything can devolve and even begin to cause issues like heart disease, obesity, anxiety, and even depression. By practicing mindful meditation, you can actually reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the body bringing peace and clarity of mind.

 

Boost productivity

In most cases, the path to success is determined by how productive you are. The more productive you are, the better you perform at work and the better the chances of moving up the ladder. Researchers have found conclusive evidence that mindful meditation does a lot to enable the brain to retain attention for longer periods of time. What’s more, you also find that there is a significant change in executive functioning, working memory, reduced anxiety, and visual-spatial processing. As such, you are able to work for longer and process information a lot better. This will often give you an edge in a competitive environment.

About the Author:

Krista Harper is a local yoga instructor and freelance writer from Southern California. She regularly covers lifestyle, mental health, and nutrition topics and has a passion for helping people create balance in their lives.

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