I began posting links to articles and resources on this topic when I launched my blog back in 2011, while living in San Antonio, Texas. For the first few years, I received many requests for advice about preparing oneself to write, how to focus attention, and how to reduce stress. I decided to devote more attention to responding. This page is one of the earliest on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog.
- 60minutes2relax on YouTube (many wonderful long videos of natural sights and sounds)
- About.com, “How Can I Clear My Mind?”
- American Heart Association, “Four Ways to Deal with Stress”
- Chris Bailey for A Life of Productivity, “The Top 10 Lessons I Learned From a Year of Productivity” (May 1, 2015)
- Lisa Evans for Fast Company, “How Working Late is Harming Your Brain” (April 29, 2014)
- Fast Company, #Unplug
- Ruth Gardner-Loew is a friend I met in Austin when I moved back in 2013, and she has launched a Healthy Interiors business. A healthy interior means healthier breathing, reduced stress and less toxicity overall. If you would like a personal introduction, send me an email (secure contact form found on this website).
- Heidi Grant Halverson for Harvard Business Review, “Nine Ways Successful People Defeat Stress” (December, 2012)
- Inc. Magazine, “10 Easy Ways to Get More Done”
- Mayo Clinic, “Exercise and Stress: Get Moving to Manage Stress”
- Mindful Muscle – Mindfulness Changes Everything
- Stop Breathe & Think app (suggested by friend Beth Reese of Yoginos: Yoga for Youth)
- Thrive Global covers a variety of topics including how to reduce stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You might like to sign up on the website to receive email updates.
- Tiny Buddha, “30 Ways to Improve Your Mood When You’re Feeling Down”
- Randi Zuckerberg, “Dot Complicated: Untangling our Wired Lives” (click to read my review of the book).
- I find that a regular schedule of exercise is essential. I visit a gym at least three times a week for a good solid hour, and in-between, I try to walk one to one and a half miles.
- Healthy eating makes a difference. I prepare most meals at home and most are made from scratch. I shop at grocery stores that feature healthy foods (since about 1980 – I am one of the original patrons of Whole Foods Market and Wheatsville Coop in Austin). Recently, I embarked upon a clean eating regimen with a strict watch on calorie intake. That has meant I have shed some 40 pounds over the course of a year, and I feel so much better overall. In truth, I never thought of myself as being overweight, and I have exercised most all my life. But my diet was the culprit, and I have taken steps to improve it greatly (posted September, 2019). To see a few of my favorite new recipes, follow this link to my Pinterest page.
- I find adequate rest is essential. By nature, I require a longer sleep cycle. But I did not pay attention to it until the past ten years. Now that I know what being rested really feels like, I will never forget. And, I do not stay up late at night (not very often, in any case).
Yikes! Check out this infographic from Mind Body Green, “This is Your Body Without Sleep” (2014).
When computers first came into widespread use (1980s for instance), one entered a lot of data in order to set up a “mail merge,” as it was called, for a large sorting project (as in for a mailing of some kind). You had to leave your computer – often overnight – and return to it in the morning before the task of sorting data into a certain order was complete.
Computers are much faster today, but “mail merge” is a phrase I sometimes use to describe what happens when I head off to rest. In the morning, I think more clearly and I am ready to think and write! When I sleep, I realize I am sorting out a great deal of information that I’ve absorbed during the day. In the morning, my attitude is improved and I can tackle almost any challenge.
Guilty But Reformed
I have not always practiced “healthy living.” While I have exercised fairly regularly over the years and I have shopped at healthy food stores, I did not get adequate rest. And in my younger days, I enjoyed the occasional cigarette at lunch and after work (I gave the latter up entirely twenty years ago).
In 2010 with the “down economy,” I decided to focus on rest, on getting a complete medical check-up, on exercising regularly, and on launching Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog and my presence on social media. I sorted through my personal/family papers and files going back to my childhood. I “reclaimed” my successes and I reviewed my challenges. I moved much of my life into the “cloud.”
Doing this was an incredibly therapeutic activity. Through the process, I found my mind and body finally got the rest they needed. I also started catching-up with my original interests in international affairs, and I began reading the global news regularly. My horizons expanded quite a bit past Texas.
Recently as a side pursuit I began representing the healthy living, vegan personal products of Arbonne International. Arbonne meets European standards (higher product “quality” standards than those in the U.S.). To learn more, follow this link to my page on the Arbonne website. Many of the nonprofit organizations with which I have worked over the years have focused on the environment, wildlife and habitat conservation. Embracing Arbonne is a natural development in my life. If you have questions, use my blog’s secure contact form.