Tag: relaxation

Ways to Enjoy a Mellow Morning

7 Ways to Find the Joy in a Mellow Morning

Activities For Adults, Self-Care March 19, 2018

I think it’s important to have a mellow morning at least once a week. It’s a rare indulgence in my house since we’re always rushing off somewhere. This morning I sat and enjoyed strong coffee, not allowing myself to feel guilty about the fact my kids were unattended while I wrote; they are well able to amuse themselves. Here are a few ideas to have a morning at your own pace:

1. Make yourself a teapot of tea or a cafetière of coffee

Sometimes these things are reserved for the arrival of guests, but you should treat yourself too. Sit at the table with a cup and saucer, some tea lights and soft music and treat yourself like you would a visitor in your house.

2. Make a special breakfast

Make filled croissants, pancakes or fancy eggs. Take more time over what you’re eating when you can. Sit for as long as you want before you get ready.

3. Lie in the bath and stare at the ceiling

There is something calming about being submerged in water. It gives you time to collect your thoughts and the sound of water is a peaceful way of blotting out stressful sounds.

4. Read Under A Blanket

How often do you get to read without interruptions? Granted, if you have kids this will be harder to achieve, but encourage them to do the same and appreciate inactivity.

5. Stare dreamily into space

Maybe this only appeals to me because I’m a day dreamer, but I think it’s good for your brain to just let it have some down time and just look at your surroundings while you think about unimportant things.

6. Make listening to music an activity in itself

People usually make listening to music a background activity. Let it be the main one so you can focus on it and allow yourself to stop multi-tasking

7. Do Calming Crafts

Some crafts require a lot of brain power, while others let your hands work while your mind rests. Try cross stitch, decoupage or even those knitting dolls for kids. Repetitive crafts don’t demand much for you but help you to destress.

Take your opportunities for a slow start and allow yourself to stop being busy all the time. When you have to face business again, you’ll be better-equipped to cope with it.

 

 

 

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Ways To Make Time To Read When You’re Too Busy To Read

8 Ways To Make Time To Read When You’re Too Busy For Reading

Activities For Adults, Reading March 17, 2018

I aim to read more than I actually ever do. It’s hard to get immersed in a book when you have young kids and a multitude of distractions coming up on a minute-to-minute basis. I still like to have somewhere to escape to when I’m mired in mundanity.  When you have little time, you have to sneak your reading in in small snatches. Here are a few tips to read more with less time.

1. Read in Unexpected Places

My favourite place to read is in the bath. It’s the perfect time to get peace to read since you’re already lying in one place (provided your kids aren’t awake.) I keep books on the kitchen counter too, so I can read a page here and there as I’m waiting for water to boil, etc.

2. Don’t Tackle Huge Chunks of Text In One Go

Plan to read a poem in a free moment, or a short story. Read a chapter at a time so you are still making time for stories. Don’t expect to complete a 300 page novel in one sitting. Expecting to achieve this will only lead you to abandon attempts at reading altogether.

3. Read With Your Kids

If you have kids, read alongside them. Read one of their stories aloud and then encourage them to “read” to each other using the pictures while you read some of your book too. Get used to broken reading if they are around.

4. Go To Bed An Hour Earlier

Plan to go to bed a little earlier so you can read in bed. It’s one of the best places to read because there are no distractions and it’s comfortable too 🙂 (if you can stay awake.)

5. Read Instead of Checking Your Phone

Cut the amount of time you spend staring at your phone and spend it reading something valuable instead. Put a book somewhere as accessible as your phone, so when you reach for your phone, you think to pick it up instead.

6. Read With Your Morning Coffee

I found a book about squeezing artwork into your day by drawing your breakfast each day. I guess if you don’t have the energy to embark on that, reading would make a good substitute. A bonus is that it makes you sit down and slowly enjoy your coffee instead of gulping it down on your way out the door.

7. Find More Substantial Magazines

I find that magazines like The Simple Things send you away with ideas for your day and it is easier to find time for a short article than more in-depth reading, without missing out on solid writing and storylines.

8. Read Books That Combine Text and Image

Sometimes books with imagery are easier to dip in and out of. You can pick up ideas books, design books and travel books to flip through in a spare moment. The pictures break up the text and make it feel less insurmountable.

Enjoy fitting in ways to be a bookworm in a busy world: it’s better to read little than to read nothing at all 🙂

 

32 Ways to Write Lists for Fun

Creativity, Writing February 14, 2018

Lists are always something we make in a hurried manner, with a feeling of obligation as we write them. Usually they are reserved for to-do lists of things we don’t want to do: grocery shopping, bills to pay, appointments, reminders of things we resent doing; they just number our responsibilities.

I think they should be transformed into something we do for therapy. There is something soothing about scrawling on paper in a measured way, rather than in a final frenzy  to get out the door.

Here is a list of lists you can make just for fun:

  • Your favourite moments in the last month.
  • Kind things that you have seen people do recently.
  • Small things that make you happy.
  • Your favourite quotes (look up things that inspire you and make a list to refer back to in a low moment.)
  • Ideas of gifts for upcoming birthdays/things you could make for people you know.
  • Specific things you want to buy for your home.
  • Look up a genre of music you like, write down every band you haven’t heard of and then find out if you like them.
  • Your favourite things about each season, eg, marbled autumn leaves, cuttingly-cool Christmas air.
  • Things you have done that you are proud of.
  • Qualities you admire in people you have met.
  • The best ways you have spent a day.
  • Movies you want to see by a director you like.
  • Things you want to research for fun/skills you want to acquire.
  • Good things that have come from the mistakes you have made.
  • Records you want to buy.
  • Mini goals for the next month (only fun things are allowed.)
  • Places nearby that you haven’t visited yet, eg, a bookshop, a nature reserve, a restaurant.
  • Search for free local events and make a list of the ones you want to attend.
  • The seemingly insignificant moments of your week (eg, a kind word from someone, hearing a good song somewhere, the taste of buttercream, the sound of rain.)
  • Your favourite items that you have ever owned.
  • Things you could easily live without.
  • Ways to simplify your life.
  • Things you want to add to your day.
  • The most memorable gifts you have received.
  • Your favourite scents, sights, etc.
  • Your favourite words in the English language.
  • Your favourite writers.
  • The best books you have read since you were a kid.
  • Things to do that don’t involve technology.
  • Your favourite places to go for a walk, eg, a stretch of a city street, a pebbled beach.
  • The funniest things that have happened to you to date.
  • Things you want to save for that you will cherish.

List-making can be really cathartic and emptying your mind on a piece of paper needn’t be done only by necessity. Enjoy listing for relaxation 🙂