I began posting links to articles and resources on this topic when I launched my blog back in 2011. For the first few years, I received a virtual flood of questions requesting advice about preparing oneself to write, how to focus attention and to reduce stress. I decided to devote more attention to responding.
- 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. I wanted to share the link to her 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)
- 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).
About me …
- A regular schedule of exercise is essential. I visit a gym at least three times a week for a good solid hour, which includes about two miles of treadmill and stairmaster work.
- Healthy eating makes a difference. I prepare most meals at home and most are made from scratch, although I admit I enjoy eating out on occasion. And, I shop at grocery stores that feature healthy foods (since about 1980 while in college – I am one of the original patrons of Whole Foods Market and Wheatsville Coop). Recently, I have embarked upon a clean eating regimen and a strict watch on calorie intake. That has meant I have shed a few pounds and I feel better overall.
- Adequate rest is essential. If I can swing the occasional, brief nap, that helps me stay on top of my game. By nature, I require a longer sleep cycle. But I did not pay attention to it until the past seven years or so. Now that I know what being rested really feels like, I will never forget. And, I do not stay up late (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 and 1990s), one entered a lot of data into them to set up a “mail merge,” as it was called, you had to leave your computer alone – 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.
I have not always practiced “healthy living.” While I have exercised fairly regularly over the years, and I have shopped at healthy food stores starting when I was in college, up until 2010 or so, 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 in 2000).
In 2010 with the “down economy,” I decided to focus on rest, getting a complete medical check-up, exercising regularly, and 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, and I “reclaimed” my successes and I reviewed my challenges (doing this was an incredibly healthy mental 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 (which are higher product standards than those in the U.S.).
To learn more, follow this link to my page on the Arbonne website.