Friday, 8 March 2013

15 Minutes to a Happier, Healthier You

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Can you have fun, improve your mood, and your health in 15 minutes? Turns out you can. 


 A while back I wrote about bringing health to your desk job, but we can't forget about the non-job part. That 15 minute coffee break can make in a difference in a world where many of us feel we have too much to do, not enough time, not enough fun in our daily lives.  That little breather is our time and we've got to claim it and enjoy it! Here are a few simple (and free) ideas for ways to make that break great for you.


Simple thing #1: Bring a favourite book of short stories, poems, or other short expression and find a stairwell, conference room, lunch area, grassy spot, any place you like to read. This is nice because if you've only got a few minutes, you can give yourself the time to read uninterrupted and maybe have a little time to reflect on what you've just read. Who knows what you'll learn?


Simple thing #2: Grab a journal or sketchbook and express yourself. If you want to be the writer, not the reader, write haiku, draw a silly portrait, do some automatic writing or sketching, get out your gratitude journal. It doesn't have to be the most beautiful or eloquent thing you've ever made. Just give yourself the permission to create without judgement.
  • Why you'll love this:The workplace isn't always the most expressive place and, as I learned in last week's post, expressing yourself is very important to loving your day. Also it's fun.
Joel Montes de Oca

Simple thing #3: Prepare a playlist of favourite tunes to dance to. I go to the conference room or another empty enclosed space on my lunch and practice any new choreography I want to use for my GROOVE class and sometimes, I just rock out to random tunes. If dancing isn't your thing, substitute it for body-weight exercises, running on the spot, a little yoga, whatever you like.

Simple thing #4: Meditate. You can take those tunes and turn them to relaxing or just grab yourself a pair of earplugs. Find yourself a quiet place and indulge in meditation. There are many different types, but one of the simplest is breathing meditation. It doesn't take long and you can give it a try in any quiet place. 
Photo by Sébastien Wiertz

Simple Thing #5 Take a walk.  If it's a nice day, go outside, if it's not, just get away from that desk. 


 
If none of these things tickle your fancy, make a list of opportunities that work for you, maybe there's a gallery downstairs, or a park across the street, or there's a room you can sing in, or friends you'd like to meet with or call. If you know what options there are for your leisure, you can plan to use them.



One final tip I've learned from experience: Focus. When I studied piano, I knew that if I had ten minutes and a very clear goal; some specific thing I had to work on, I could get it done. I could actually get more done than if I gave myself 4 hours without a plan. Just like in my post on the what to pack in your gym bag, you've got to bring a plan. It's nice to have a few options, but if you try to read a book, go for a walk, meditate, and dance in 15minutes, it's not going to work so well.

Now, I wrote this specifically for those breaks when you're in the workplace and you can't get too far away, but they're also good for when you're at home,or studying at the library, etc. and you just need a breather. So live, love, enjoy, life is short.



How do you take advantage of those short bursts of free time? Come on, sharing is nice. Also, if you like what you read, don't forget to share, subscribe, or connect with me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.

Live well,Charlotte


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