Making the most of your time: Part 2 – 15 minutes

Put down those dirty dishes! Stop dusting/sweeping/mopping; just stop whatever mundane activity you have gotten yourself into that is not creating a relaxing, joyful, and exciting thrill for your life.

Are you done? Ready to read on? Okay! That’s what I’m talking about J

As you can read again in my “Part 1 of Making the most of your time- 5 minutes”, everyone has to find the time for joy, happiness, and relaxation in our crazy, busy lives. Stop right there! No excuses; remember! Yes, I know that as a mother/wife/working mom myself, the dishes have to get done at some point; the clothes need to be washed so my child isn’t wearing 4 day old pants, again (not that I would EVER do that); the floors have to get swept and mopped; yada, yada, yada. This is not a post to keep you from the things that make our lives run, but it is to remind you that without pleasure and enjoyment in our lives, we start to get bitter, angry, and just an uglier version of ourselves.

You don’t want that? Good! I don’t want that for you either. I want to help you find a distraction, or distractions, that gives your mind something else to focus on long enough to let relaxation settle in. And from there, it is more work to get your mind back on what upset you in the first place. Honestly, who needs, or wants, MORE work? Through these different posts, I’m hoping you can find something that you find time for your in life, even if it is just for 15 minutes, which will bring you back to your spunky, fun-loving, and awesome-self again! So read on to see if something will spark and ignite your reason for wanting to have more out of your life. Sometimes all it takes is a little R & R.

If you have 15 minutes alone –

Pick up a magazine

Not a tablet or your smartphone, but an actual magazine. You remember, the ones with the pages that you can touch and thumb through that doesn’t require a swipe of your finger. Yeah, that one. Read that article you saw on the front page that caught your attention and that you swore to yourself, “The next time I get a break, I’m going to start my planning my bedroom romantic escape that the article promised me I can do in under a budget of $100.” Hey, you can make that work, but right now, the point is to sit down and READ the article.

Detoxify

You know those posts that you read on Facebook from “friends” that drive you crazy, make you angry, or just make you think, “Really?!” – delete them from your feed. I’m not saying delete them from your total social media life, but if this is not a person that you have constant contact with, then take them off your news feed and see if you even really miss all their negative and aggravating posts that they put up on Facebook. And if you don’t, then maybe they weren’t the best for you life, anyway.

Hello, Yoga

Yoga does wonders for you mind, body, and soul. When muscles are tense and stressed, it causes added stress to the brain, leading to negative and more anxious thoughts in the mind. But the opposite effect is also true – relaxed muscles, lead to a calmer mind and more positive and constructive thoughts. Yoga can help you achieve a healthier mindset, whether you are a beginner or an expert, you can practice these moves here to achieve full relaxation and more energy in as little as 15 minutes. Try here if you need some guidance: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/seated-yoga-poses-that-will-work-wonders-on-your-health/?ref=pin

Podcasts are amazing

Podcasts can inspire you, make you laugh, get you thinking about your life, etc. And there are so many different kinds of podcasts, or TED Talks, whichever you prefer. You can even create your own, just to express something that made you happy, angry, etc. in as little as 15 minutes (even if it’s not something that you share with the world). The point, here is, just letting your emotions stay bundled up inside you doesn’t help anyone, and it really doesn’t help yourself chill. If you aren’t sure where to start with communicating feelings and thoughts, listen to a Podcast that teaches you about assertive communication!

Take a nap

Yes, I give you permission to zone out and rest those beautiful eyes! But notice I have put this under the 15 minute relaxation blog post. Research suggests that a nap up to 20 minutes can invigorate us and re-energize us to finish out the rest of our day strong! But any longer, and of course the research starts showing other effects – more grogginess, irritation and all those pesky feelings we were trying to subdue by taking a nap! Um, yeah, we don’t want that.

Play a game of Solitaire

With actual playing cards! If you can’t remember how to play without the computer, watch a quick YouTube video. Playing cards helps you to lose focus of what has you angry, annoyed, upset, whatever that is not relaxed feeling, and allows your mind to wander to just focusing on playing a game.

With your partner –

Reminisce

Studies have shown that reminiscing can bring all kinds of lovely feelings pouring in about the good ol’ times! And who doesn’t love to think back on all the fun we had when we were younger and could actually stay up past 8:30 PM! Take the time to remember all the things that brought you two together. And if that doesn’t get you feeling good, look below…

Afternoon delight

So you have 15 minutes and the kids are napping, or away with grandparents/sleepover/etc., and you are looking for some alone time…yeah, I think you can figure this one out 😉

With your kids –

Exercise

Now this is not going to be your body sculpting, hard core workout that you would get in a gym. This is more let’s-pretend-we’re-a-snake type of fun and entertaining workout for you and the kids! I do this with my oldest little (he’s 4) and he asks me to do it when I forget to ask him! I let him choose 4 exercises that we do, and then I try to get him to do 1 or 2 of mine (like pushups or crunches, something easy) to demonstrate some real exercises for him. It gets them interested in exercising and gets them thinking creatively for what exercise they want to do next. And we all know how great exercise is for the brain!

Play a board game

There are some easier games that really only take about 15 minutes to play – Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, etc. And if your kids are too old for these games, show them a fun card game, like Go Fish, or even Rummy. I love games, so I will always use any excuse to sit down with my kids when they ask me to play a game. They think it’s for them, but really, it’s for me!

Take the dog for a walk

Again, it’s all about getting away and soaking up some Vitamin D. If you get so involved in the walk and talking to your kids that it’s been over 15 minutes – who cares! And KEEP GOING!

Make a blanket fort

If you have never made a blanket fort and have no idea of what I’m talking about, you have not lived! I always loved throwing any blanket I could find over the back of the couch and the back of chairs to build a fort where I could run in and just read a book, or play with my dolls, whatever I wanted to do. And I always thought that it was the coolest thing. Now, my kids do, too! Even the 2 year old! And having fun and sharing something with them that I used to do as a kid, relaxes me every time.

Side note – I am on vacay this week, so I will be trying to stay away from electronics as much as I can. You will likely not get another post until I return, and maybe them I’ll have some other fun relaxation tips to share from the trip!

Have a safe and relaxing week, everyone!

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