Battle of the yawns: 5 tips to combating fatigue

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For the past couple of weeks, I haven’t logged in enough Zzzs. Although I sleep all night, I don’t schedule enough slumber time. I tend to overbook my evenings, thinking I can accomplish more than humanly possible. Even extra caffeine in the mornings barely takes the edge off my exhaustion. The day after a recent 90-minute acupuncture session, however, I felt refreshed from morning until evening and wished I could harness that energy on days I feel dull, drained and unmotivated. Which got me to thinking about quick pick-me-ups to help revive and refresh the tired soul, short-term, when we don’t get the amount of sleep we should: 1) take a power nap—no more than 10-20 minutes; 2) eat a handful of nuts or a snack that combines protein with slow-burning carbs; 3) take a brisk walk; 4) drink a glass of water and/or 5) soak in a few minutes of Vitamin D. Better yet? If time permits, take a hike.

How do you battle the yawns?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Club 50: it just keeps getting better (wear the tiara)

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My daughter called me the other day and said she’d read an article that seemed like something I’d write: “50 Life Lessons Written by a 50-Year-Old Woman.” I wish I could say I had penned it because it was that good. And perfect. The cool thing is, I’ve already discovered most of these lessons and apply the majority in my own life. There are others I plan to put into practice, and even more that I’d like to add: 51) Pamper yourself often: buy the flowers, new dress or new shoes; splurge on a fresh “do” or mani and pedi. 52) Find something you’re wildly passionate about and pursue it, fearlessly. Or reignite an old passion, boldly. 53) Love others and love yourself; be kind always. 54) Cultivate a healthy body image. But my all-time favorite is the author’s closing tip: wear a tiara whenever you want to (and not just on your birthday). I think this might be my life’s new motto.

What is your life’s motto?

Never the perfect time: sticking to our priorities

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You know when you plan to do “the thing” and there’s always another thing that comes up? Because life. Last year I devised a plan to apply for my MFA in 2017. My goal was to apply by Feb. 1. Then life happened and pushed out my application to May 1. Now it might be July 1. I mentioned this to a friend who said, “It’s like having kids… you are never really ready for it, just adapt when it happens and, surprisingly, it usually works out just fine.” He’s right: because life. Another friend is embarking on a new adventure of her own, denoting a big change in her life—which means conquering her fears. Change and fear are often synonymous with life, but we do our best to adapt, or to overcome. With that in mind, after work I didn’t pass go or collect $200 but, instead, drove home, stopped procrastinating and made significant progress on my application paperwork. Because life.

What must become your priority?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

(Re)writing your story: happily-ever-now

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If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.
~ Mo Willems

Everything we might’ve been taught says running away isn’t the solution. That we should look adversity in the face and show it we’re stronger. But what about when quitting means leaving a situation where we’ve tried over and over yet nothing changes? In her post, “You’re Allowed to Leave,” Rania Naim invites us to let toxic friends go, to surround ourselves with love—people who encourage and nurture us—and to pick the kind of energy we need in our lives. “You’re allowed to forgive yourself for your biggest and smallest mistakes and you’re allowed to be kind to yourself, you’re allowed to look in the mirror and actually like the person you see.” Leaving might not mean physically. Letting go could simply mean releasing ourselves from the expectations of others and those expectations we’ve adopted as our own. Don’t wait for Someday to be happy. Be happy now.

What does your happily-ever-now look like?

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Attaching labels to the dreams we chase

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A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily,
because she has amazing talent,
or because everything she does is golden.
A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope,
even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise,
you keep writing anyway. ~ Dunot Diaz

Is there a dream you’re chasing? One that is synonymous with how you define yourself? For me, it’s writing, or identifying myself as a writer. Several weeks ago, I attended a ‘write your book in a weekend’ workshop where I penned more than 50,000 words that evolved into a book of sorts—but mostly it resembled keystrokes of gibberish splashed across my laptop screen. Although I didn’t accomplish what I’d hoped for, I learned two things: 1) that particular technique to birth a book is not for me, and 2) that I possess what it takes to earn my label… because I keep writing anyway. Therein lies the promise.

What does your label look like?

Image courtesy of jennythip at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

No pain, no gain

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no-pain-no-gain

 

Business travel and other commitments kept me away from the hot room for days. I told a friend I looked forward to the simultaneous pleasure and pain of that evening’s practice. Not entirely familiar with Bikram yoga, he asked why I do it if it causes me pain. When I last hiked, my aching body rebelled as the wind sliced through five layers. When I write, oftentimes it’s with my own blood. So, why do we endure the physical and/or emotional pain that may accompany a strong passion(s) we entertain? Sometimes there is pain in the midst of transformation and healing. Of course, there is the adrenaline high that pushes many of us beyond our comfort zones. For me, I do what I do to face a challenge, to squeeze out every last drop of living in a particular moment. To come out a better, more complete version of me. And sometimes that might mean a skinned knee in the process.

Why do you do what you do?

From the ground up: a foundation built to last

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building-a-foundation

 

Guilty of sabotaging progress you’re making in life? Maybe you’ve ditched the prose you’re halfway through writing, the deadline only days away, because binge-watching Netflix appeals more. Or you wish every day was Friday pizza, wine and movie night instead of the yoga, ab or glute challenge you committed to last week. Once we fall from our carefully crafted plans, it’s challenging to get back on track. After a few of those days, however, I showed up for Bikram yoga practice but, instead of ditching my glasses, I donned them to better analyze my postures. Surprising (to me), I noticed toned muscles and, any “damage” I thought I’d done by eating poorly, was negated by a foundation of regular exercise and healthy eating I began building years ago. Same idea with my writing: a lifetime of dreaming, preparing for, educating myself and practicing the craft allows me to pick up where I leave off. A solid foundation is key to lasting success.

Where can you build a (better) foundation?

Image courtesy of Worakit Sirijinda at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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