How to Build Self-Care into Your Lunch Break

Woohoo, rocked the morning! The mid-day mark has arrived, the work day is half over…this is usually where I start wearing down…don’t rush through lunch to barely slide through the afternoon. Keep your productivity up and stay feeling good through the whole day with these simple Self-Care routines during your lunch break.

How to stay pumped all through your work day:

1. Eat a healthy lunch – choose foods that are energizing. Lay off the heavy carbs that can make you tired.

2. Take a walk – get moving. If you can’t go outside, take a walk around the office.

3. Eat your lunch away from the computer – go to the break room, go out to restaurant, sit at a picnic table – separate your lunch from your work.

4. Drink water – staying hydrated will help keep you energized.

5. Meditate for 5 minutes – (or longer) – clear your mind so that you are level and prepared to manage the second half of your day.

6. Listen to an inspirational podcast or read – escape and re-motivate yourself.

7. Text a loved one – connect, communicate – bring the love into your day.

8. Check your to-do list, cross off what you’ve accomplished – this does two things: it reaffirms you of what you have completed already for the day and it mentally prepares you to plan for what still needs to be completed.

9. Watch a funny or cute cat (or dog or bird…) video – let go, laugh, de-stress.

10. Chat casually with a co-worker – but not about work! – the purpose of this is human connection, to relax, not to stress about the day…or vent to a friend if you really need to, get it off your chest so you can move on with your day.

The goal is to come back from your lunch break feeling refreshed and re-energized so you can rock your afternoon too!

Need some more inspiration? Check out these reads:

10 Benefits of Walking

How To Stay Motivated & My Top TED Talks for Motivation

How Meditation Benefits You

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5 Powerful Steps to Reaching Your Dreams & Crushing Your Goals

As you get to know new people, you will find that we each hold our own story of tragedy and sorrow, we each have experienced challenges and trials that have helped shape us into the people we have become (or are becoming). Some stories are longer and more intense than others and some are shorter and more gentle but we each have our own. At the end of each story though, isn’t about what had happened, it’s what we chose to learn, what we chose to make of it all, what we chose to become from it. I recently met a beautiful woman through a Facebook Group named Kylie Travers, she has quite the story to tell, facing many challenges in the past several years, challenges that could have sent her spiraling down but instead she took her obstacles and used them to propel herself to a multiple international award-winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador. When I reached out to her to guest post for www.dofivethingsaday.com, to share her story with all of us, she didn’t come back with a list of all of her challenges, she came back with a focus on action steps on how she became who she was meant to be. It reminded me of how strong we can be, on how if we choose to control and shape our perception then we can make anything possible. 

The past few years have been some of the worst and some of the most successful years of my life. I have gone from a homeless single mother of two to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador, in under 4 years. During this time I also overcame Borderline Personality Disorder, started a new relationship, had paralysis issues for 7 months, a cancer scare, a few surgeries, moved across the country and helped my daughters overcome their learning disorders which were classed as extreme.

Despite facing multiple obstacles, I have a life better than anything I could ever have imagined. Instead of focusing on ‘my story’ (which if you want to know more details about, you can find on my site), I want to focus on what I did to turn my obstacles into opportunities.

1.) Have an attitude of gratitude
As hard as it is when you face issues in your life, being grateful changes your perspective. Find something to be grateful for every day. I keep a gratitude diary where I write in it 3 things I am grateful for every day. Keeping an attitude of gratitude helps maintain a more positive outlook on life, which assists in problem solving the issues you face.

A week after my daughters and I left their dad (my ex husband), we were robbed of everything in our new home, including my underwear. At first, I broke down. It felt like too much to handle with what I had already faced leaving an abusive relationship, being stalked and assaulted.

I managed to pull myself together then wrote a gratitude list outing what I could be grateful for in that situation, what lessons I could learn from it and what opportunities might come as a result of being robbed. I managed to come up with quite a few things including the fact we were not home when it happened, it was only stuff and we had insurance, I hated everything I owned because it was remnants of my marriage, now I was able to replace it with insurance money instead of having to save up my own money and replace things as I could etc. As you can see, once I got into that frame of mind it became easier.

2.) Use affirmations and positive quotes
I used to roll my eyes when people suggested it, until I found myself crumpled in a heap on the bathroom floor sobbing my eyes out and the only thing that seemed to calm me down was repeating my favorite quote “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” by Carl Jung. I needed to believe that was true. I needed to know that despite being at rock bottom – abused, robbed and homeless, I could change my life.

I had my favourite quotes stamped on some bracelets for my wrists. I wrote quotes that inspired me in permanent marker on my mirrors (it wipes off with window cleaner) and I kept them as screen-savers on my devices. These constant reminders helped shape my thinking.

3.) Be clear on where you want to go
I have always had goals, but in this situation I got more strategic about it. I worked out my core values, created a personal mission statement, set goals in 7 key areas of my life (family, finances, career/business, travel, health, personal development and organisation), then using those goals I create a vision board.

I would spend time every day envisioning what my life would be like, looking at my vision board and actively taking steps to get me closer to my goals. All the planning in the world will do nothing if you don’t take action. Get clear on where you want to be, write your plan and go after it with pure determination.

4.) Meditation

I allocated at least 20 minutes a day to meditation, which I still do. It relaxes you, makes it easier to think and I notice it on days I don’t meditate. I struggle, have less energy and can’t think as clear if I don’t meditate in the morning. Not all mediation is about sitting there and saying ‘Om’. Find the method that works for you and implement it into your daily routine.

5.) Take care of yourself

I allowed myself to get too busy and overwhelmed running a business, doing public speaking, rushing from event to event, taking my kids to school, therapy and extra curricular activities. I said yes to everything anyone asked me to do and in the end my body decided I couldn’t continue. One morning I was getting ready and my back seized up. I thought I had aggravated an old spinal injury and asked my very new boyfriend to take my kids to school, assuming I would be ok the next day. I was unable to walk properly for 7 months. If I stood up or spoke at an event it required nerve blockers, pain killers and resulted in 4 days in bed after the event with excruciating pain and paralysis.

During this time a test came back positive for the cancer my mother died from. After a surgery it turns out I have a rare condition that presents itself the same way and I have to have annual surgery. I had surgical treatments for my spine and the whole year was stressful. My new boyfriend was my carer and immediately a dad to my kids instead of us being able to get to know each other slowly.

By not taking care of myself, I nearly ruined us financially (he was now unable to work as he had to care for me, and I barely worked because of the pain and issues) and nearly destroyed the relationship completely. I was unable to be the mum I had been and that broke my heart, seeing my kids play and having them be sad I couldn’t do things with them anymore.

Put yourself first. Exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, ask for help when you need it, outsource the cleaning or anything else you can to free up your time. Life is too short, don’t make it harder on yourself by overwhelming yourself.

You can achieve anything you put your mind to. How have you turned obstacles into opportunities?

Bio:

Kylie Travers went from homeless single mum of two daughters because of domestic violence to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker, marketing specialist and charity advocate in the space of a couple of years. Through all her work she focuses on sharing practical advice on ways to make and save money, turn your obstacles into opportunities, practice gratitude, travel and create opportunities to improve your life and excel in the areas you want to.

Her areas of expertise are marketing, social media, blogging, finance and travel. Her company specialises in digital marketing with influencer programs, marketing strategies, training and consultations. Personally, Kylie likes to focus on public speaking, freelance writing or consults around finance, travel, lifestyle or blogging, along with being actively involved in charities that help end homelessness and domestic violence.

As a result, she has been the recipient of many awards, including The Plutus Foundation Service Award for 2015, Finalist Young Australian Of The Year, ACT, 2015 and winning Best International Personal Finance Blog twice, among other awards.


You can find out more about here at http://www.kylietravers.com.au

Social links: 

http://www.facebook.com/KylieTraversAus

http://www.twitter.com/KylieTravers_au

http://www.instagram.com/KylieTravers_au

 

*all images used in this post of ownership of Kylie Travers.

Believe In Your Blessings. They Will Keep You Strong.

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       I’m sitting in bed with my laptop on my lap, staring at my editorial calendar and the asterisk marking that I’m due for a blog post tonight, thinking what do I write about tonight, coming to the realization that I’m just feeling a bit drained. My thoughts continue on what to write, I search through my list of blog ideas on my Evernote App and I have plenty of ideas, but I’m just not sure my thinking process is there to fill them out… I continue to drift into thoughts of what is all on my mind. These past two weeks have been harder than others, emotionally I’ve been up and down, not sleeping well, but still finding myself driven to chase my dreams through it all, and knowing that I am strong enough to get through all of this. My daily mantra is that no matter what is going on around me, focus on myself, growing myself, focus on the positive things in life and working towards continuing to develop a life I love, and then everything else will fall into place around me. I sat down to review my day for tomorrow in my Happiness Planner and as fate may have it, tomorrow’s quote is “Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace’, Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place’ ~ Marianne Williamson. The Universe has a way of putting exactly what we need right in front of us. When it comes to people, and to life, truth is that we cannot fix people, we cannot control them, we can only love them. Therefore I choose to be love. I choose to love those around me with all my heart, I choose to love life, and I choose to love myself. I know I will have days that are good, and I will also have challenging days, but I can choose to love each of those days, to cherish the lessons I learn, to appreciate the strength I gain from each and every moment. Tonight, my thoughts are scattered (as it shows in my writing I’m sure) but they will organize themselves, they will become clear in time, tonight I just need to let them go, let them run wild and just be. The holidays stir up all kinds of feelings inside of us, they remind us of what we are thankful for, they remind us of lost loves, and of so much more. I find myself becoming reminiscent, of wonderful moments but also of old emotions but I will continue to remind myself that, happy or sad, they are of my past. I get to live here and now and that is my greatest blessing, having a present to be in and a future to look forward to, wherever that future may take me. I am blessed with so many things, so many wonderful moments, so many great people that are in or were in my life. Initially when I started this post with the confusion of what to write about I was going to create a ‘What Am I Thankful For’ list post but I find that question hard to answer, not because I have a lack of blessings but because I have so many blessings, and that is what I am most thankful for. Several years ago, I may not have had the same outlook but I decided to make a choice to view my life differently. Whether I find myself with a lot or with a little there can always be a lot in my heart if I allow it to exist there and that makes all the difference. So tonight as I lay down to sleep (after I finish my Lifetime Christmas movie of course) I will go to sleep, leaving my scattered thoughts to sit, and replace them with thoughts of love, hope, and faith.  <3 

 

Sunday Reflection

Sunday – a day for relaxation, refreshment, and reflection.

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”

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I find I do most of my reflection on Sundays… It seems the world slows down a little on these days. I usually get to sleep in a little, stay in the dream realm just a little longer which leaves me awakening with a sense of wonder and in thought. No office to rush to on Sunday mornings, nothing to derail my mind. I am in a peaceful moment, it is quiet in the home…gives me the space to think…

If you’ve been following me for some time, then you’ve seen my comes and go’s…I set goals, I plan, I blog and then I get busy and fall away. For awhile I would beat myself up for not sticking to my set routines but as I grow I come to accept my ways some. I have come to accept that even though I wish I could be, I’m not a super hero and I can’t be pulled several ways. I’m not saying that blogging and art and writing are not important to me because they very much are and are a part of who I am but I can only focus on so much at a time and to be quite honest I get very tired sometimes…no excuses, just facing what is. “Failure is nothing more than a chance to revise your strategy”. I won’t say I’ve failed because today I am still farther than I was five years, or even ten years ago. I am merely working out my “strategy”, what works for me. If being the blogger that comes and goes is what works for me now, than that is who I will be, like a mystery – what has she been doing, what is she up to…and I love mysteries. I’ve been out working hard, playing in my free time, and living life…so I shouldn’t beat myself up. I do want to get better at blogging consistently, I just haven’t found what works for me so I’m growing a little slower than other blogs but that’s okay. I am exactly where I need to be, where the universe needs me to be. I look up to the bloggers that do so well at blogging every week or every day, and I read and watch, and continue to learn.

Advice for me from me:  1. Set shorter timelines for my goals – 30 day Challenges don’t stick for me, try 15 days, or even just a week. 2. Be patient with my success, steps forward are still steps forward even if it’s just an inch. 3. Find a way to enjoy all tasks. Fill my schedule with things I love, and if I don’t love it and it’s mandatory – find something happy in that moment. – but make time to do more of what I love, don’t get bogged down with busywork all of the time.

And a last minute blogging thought – stop trying to write the perfect blog post – it just blocks me from writing at all. If I want to share I sketch I drew, share it. If I have a quote to share, share it…and if I have a whole post of thoughts to write then by all means, share it. Be yourself in your blog and your tribe will find you.

*Artwork is a page shared from my art journal.

“Come What May” World For I’m Getting Ready

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”

~ Charles Bukowski

I find I may have let myself fall off of the cobblestone path I had set myself onto. My life has been a bit of a whirlwind and I’ve allowed myself to get swept up and lost in it. I do not blame life or others for how I’ve veered or how I feel, for it is myself that allowed myself to stray. I allowed myself to not keep up with my routine of daily yoga, to not watch nature to find peace as I had been doing before. It was myself that allowed myself to lose my way.

Last night I sat in the pitch dark and I opened my heart, my mind, my soul and I let the messages of the universe flow into me. I had continued to practice daily meditation but I do not believe I had been doing so openly as I should have been. The thing about redirecting your life and following new paths is that it is a learning process as well; a development of discipline and order too. Well yesterday when I was overcome by anxiety I crashed under the pressure. I knew it was time to pull myself up again, to gain the discipline back that I needed.

I believe we each have light and darkness in us. Without darkness there can be no light. We shouldn’t fear darkness, we should embrace it, for there can also lay solitude. Every one of us have our own struggles and with each one is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to become stronger.

So last night, I sat in the darkness, where I could see nothing with my eyes, and I listened, I felt, and my healing began again. I could feel the energy flow into me, I could see (in my mind) a path. It took me a few hours of sleep after for my meditation experience to fully process throughout me but I woke up feeling refreshed, my mind in clarity again.

I started the day with yoga in the field. Felt the breeze blow against my face, listened to the birds sing, and felt the grass between my toes. My heart beat slowed and my breath became calm and steady. The sense of empowerment raised in me as I came to feel more balanced again.

I still have doubts, and fears, and I know life will still carry challenges for me but I feel better readied to take them on again so “come what may” world for I am returning to the ground again.

A Shining Light from a Blue Eyed Boy

This morning started out challenging… I woke up achy and tired and realizing I only had about $18 to make it through the rest of the week. Adding to it we were out of lunch meat and out of peanut butter so with that fueling the fire I snapped that I’d have to stop in my time crunch to spend money I didn’t have to pick something up for my son for lunch at his summer care. Quietly my son and I walked out to the car – his water bottle dropping and rolling all over the parking lot. My son and I tackled it as a team and finally caught it as it rolled under the fourth car. As we were climbing into the car to rush out, my son pulls out his leftover half of sandwich from the day before and cheerfully says, “I can eat the rest of this for lunch today!” My day was just saved by a bright blue-eyed nine-year-old boy. Sometimes our heroes are only four and half feet tall! Needless to say my daily inspiration came early today and with perfect timing. As the day went on the frustrations kept pouring in (was just one of those days) but with every challenge that the day presented to me, I thought of that smile my son gave me and remembered the strength it gave me. Don’t ever give up on a day just because it is rough, today I was reminded that there is always a solution!