Let’s Try Something New

How did you do last week on your walk?

Today I tried something I probably haven’t done for twenty years.  I played racquetball.  Or rather, I ran after the ball.

My friend and I go to the gym after work most evenings.  We usually walk a mile, do some weight machines and finish with fifteen minutes on the ellipticals.  But today we were feeling adventurous and we decided that it was time to try racquetball.  

After donning the super sexy goggles that were provided we proceeded to chase the little blue ball all over the court.  I’m positive the echos of our giggling reverberated throughout the entire building.

We were terrible but I haven’t had that much fun playing a sport for a long time!

I would encourage you to get out there and either try something new or try something old that you used to love.  Do you remember roller blading?  Or sledding down a hill?  Or just turn on some music and dance!  Working out doesn’t have to be work.  If you enjoy it you will do it more often.  And if you do it more often you will feel better and sleep better and that is a great way to take care of yourself!

Love,    Erika

Here are some ideas:

Swimming

Rollerblading

Freeze Tag

Bike Rides

Skiing

Hiking

Target Practicing

Dancing

Horseback Riding

Free Weights

Group Fitness Class

 

Set Up Your Room for Sleep Success

So how did you do last week?  Did you go to bed earlier that usual so you could get between 8 and 9 hours of sleep each night?  I hope so!  That’s a good start.

This week let’s apply a few tricks to ensure our room is dark and distraction free.

My internet research says that slightly under 70 degrees is the optimal bedroom temperature.  If you have a programmable thermostat try setting it to 68 degrees at night.

This may seem pretty basic but when it comes to bedrooms the darker the better.  You can install black out shades or use an eye pillow to create the perfect dark environment.

Creating a distraction free zone shouldn’t be too tricky.  The goal is to make it as quiet as possible or to mask nighttime noises.  One option is earplugs.  I’ve do this frequently at hotels.  Another option is to use a white noise machine (or app) or a fan.

Personally, I have a fan running all night every night and although at first I thought it was annoying I’m at the point now where I can hardly sleep without it.  Its low constant hum is comforting and it drowns out a lot of noises that I might disturb me otherwise.

I hope you find these tips helpful.

Take care of yourself!           Erika

You need

TO START

RIGHT NOW


I have recently found this quote by Mark Twain to be exceptionally true.  

For two years I have been thinking about doing a blog, planning on what I might say, making lists about the topics I wanted to cover and basically obsessing about it.  

However, when it came to actually writing, I would make up any excuse to avoid it.  I refused to do it.  I paid my subscription fees.  I called tech support a couple of times.  I did a couple of test posts.  I added a few widgets.  I realized I had no idea what I was doing so I put it off.  

But then last week I started.  I just decided to do it.  I became more frustrated just thinking about it than with my lack of knowledge so I published my plan.  I posted all last week according to my schedule.

And guess what?  I am so proud of myself.  I still do not know what I am doing but that’s okay.  I’m enjoying the learning process.  I have a vision of what I would like to accomplish and I am finally on my way because I TRIED.  I got started.  And I’m loving it.  

I would encourage you to do the same.  I know that there are some things that you have been dreaming about doing.  You probably have piles of plans hiding in notebooks or on your computer.  You may have been dragging your feet due to a million excuses.  But why don’t you start.  Just TRY.  Get going.  

You have special gifts and talents and the world needs you to use them.  We are on this planet for a finite amount of time and your gifts will be a blessing to the world.  I encourage you to start.  

Making progress on your dreams and goals is a great way to take care of yourself.  

I wish you the best!   Erika

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I am a giver.  As a giver, it is very easy for me to give to everyone else but myself.  Usually I work all day, come home, make supper, do chores, help the kids with their homework, run them to their activities, get them through their bedtime routine and sit down for the first time at 10:00 p.m. exhausted only to do it again the next day.

I am not complaining.  I love my life.  But my point is that it is easy for me to focus on everyone else but myself.  I know that I’m not the only one with this type of personality.  I would like to encourage you to take a few moments to take care of yourself.

There are several ways to do this and I think we should start with a nice epsom salt bath recipe.

My internet research said that epsom salt baths soothe muscle pain, abdominal cramps, headaches and sore feet.  They also flush toxins, fade bruises and help you sleep.

EPSOM SALT BATH

Draw a warm bath

Add up to two cups of epsom salt

Soak for 15 – 20 minutes

Drain the tub and rinse with clean water

May be repeated up to three times per week

I would also encourage you to drink an 8 oz glass of water afterward to stay hydrated.

Take care of yourself!          Erika

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You’ve probably been wondering what “Bless the World” means.  My sister uses this phrase as an equivalent to minimalism and it really appeals to me.  

She claims that when she lets things go, whether that be to the trash, as a donation, or by selling an item, that she is “Blessing The World”.  Feeling like she is “blessing the world” helps gives her the confidence to let go of the excess things she no longer needs in her life, even if the item may still be useful.  She imagines the right person adopting her item at the right time and she hopes the item will bring them as much joy as it did her.

There are a few things to do with your stuff.  You can donate it, throw it away or cherish it.  Below I have listed some bullet points that may help you in deciding what to do with your excess items.

  • If you don’t love it, don’t keep it
  • Bless the World by letting someone else have the opportunity to use what you are not
  • If it is an article of clothing and doesn’t make you feel fabulous, bless the world
  • You don’t have to keep something that was a gift

  • There are some things that are made to be used and then discarded
  • When in doubt, throw it out
  • Learn to love the space it leaves behind
  • If you saved it with good intentions, take five minutes and actually use it or get rid of it
  • Letting go makes you feel good

  • If you love it, by all means keep it
  • If it makes you happy then keep it, even if your _fill in the blank_ makes fun of you
  • Surround yourself with things that are necessary and eclectic
  • If it is sentimental, hanging on is understandable

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TAke a Walk


Today I encourage you to take a walk.  Walking is great exercise and has a myriad of health benefits!  www.mayoclinic.org says that walking can help you maintain a healthy weight, help prevent heart disease and high blood pressure, tone and strengthen your muscles and increase your balance and mood.

A good goal is 20 minutes per day.  You can go with a family member, friend, pet or by yourself.

If you go by yourself, consider taking a mindful or meditative walk.  Be conscious of your breathing.  Inhale deeply.  Exhale fully.  Be present in the moment.  Notice the elements in your environment.  

You can choose to repeat a mantra like “Inhale peace, exhale joy”.  

Walking regularly will go a long way to helping you feel well.

Sincerely,

Erika

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Sleep Tip

  • I heard a program last week where a researcher said that “sleep is not optional, it is a biological necessity. 
  • No more binge watching Netflix (my favorite thing to do starting at 10:00 p.m.)
  • I promise this will lead to more energy and couldn’t we all use more energy?

Sleep Tip


A Consistent Early Bed Time is Important

This is a tough one for me.  I love to stay up late.  I have been a night owl since I was little.  As an adult, I feel like the first chance I have to sit down begins at 10:00 p.m. and I love to entertain myself by binge watching Netflix.  However, this is not a good habit, especially when practiced on a work night!

Our challenge for this week is to get more sleep.  It will do a body good!  Let’s aim for a minimum of eight hours.  Getting more sleep will help us to have more energy during the day.  My internet research also said more sleep will improve our moods, lower our stress, help attain a healthy weight, target our attention and become more creative.

Doesn’t that sound like a whole bunch of benefit for turning off the TV and jumping into bed earlier?  Mark your calendars and let me know next Monday how you did!

Go

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I am not a coffee drinker.  For some strange reason caffeine gives me a headache.  Therefore my go-to warm drink in the winter is Hot Cocoa.  And, yes, I know there is some caffeine in chocolate, but it must not be as much, because it doesn’t seem to bother me.  

Really good hot cocoa is practically medicinal.  Here is the process I use to get the perfect cup of hot chocolate.

In a mug I microwave a cup of whole milk for one minute.  Then I add a heaping spoonful of Nestle Quick powder, a 1/2 tablespoon of Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, a dash of salt, a pinch of sugar and stir it. Sometimes the unsweetened cocoa powder doesn’t mix very well, but that’s okay.  

Then I microwave it another 30 seconds.  After taking it out of the microwave and stirring it again I add my secret ingredient: 1/2 teaspoon of Mexican Vanilla.  My favorite brand is Danncy.  It’s the one with the red rooster on the label. Mexican vanilla is double strength so a little goes a long way.  

Top with marshmallows and voila!  A great, warm, chocolatey treat that will soothe your soul!

My daughter’s room is oddly shaped.  When we looked at the house they had the room set up as an office.  We turned it in to a bedroom but it has a rather odd closet.  It has shelves on one side and a bar across the other and nothing in the middle.  We fashioned a rack for her shirts from a tension rod and a couple of shelf hangers but there was a big space above the rod on the back wall.  

My daughter, being the diva that she is, wanted to dress up the wall a bit so we added a self-adhesive black and white chevron print.  I thought that was pretty cool.  She wasn’t satisfied, however.  

She asked me to make her a kiss print to dress it up even more.  We found some shiny gold metallic vinyl and now she has a two foot tall by three foot wide lip print on her chevron wall.  Now every morning when she gets dressed her closet gives her a kiss!

Chevron Wall

 

Upper Lip

 

Full Pout

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I had a surprise last 4th of July.  As we set up our lawn chairs to watch the parade my daughter said, “Mom, that’s your quilt.”  I looked at the lady sitting in front of us and sure enough she was using a quilt I had given away as an extra layer of padding on her hard plastic lawn chair.

I had made the quilt a year earlier.  I had found a fun brown, teal and green polkadot flannel that I wanted to use and then picked out matching shades of those three colors for the squares.  It was cute when I was done, but I am not a fan of the color teal.  When I was finished I put it in the linen cupboard where it sat for most of the year.  

I had been trying to reduce the clutter in my home for a while and when I was going through the closet I decided that even though I had invested in the fabric, batting and the time piecing and sewing it together I thought it was probably time to let it go.  

My sister calls this process “Blessing the World”.  That resonated with me and I gladly donated it to a local thrift store.

I never expected to see the quilt again.  Knowing it went to a good home and was being used brought me joy that I did not anticipate.  

If you have extra items that you are willing to let go, please be confident that you are blessing the world!

Erika

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