breathe

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Kick More Ass

Why are lists so seductive? 

Quick distilled information. That's why!

So here you go I have refined for you THREE things you can do right now to kick more ass: 

Number 1: Breathe

I've said it before. I will say it again. Take a moment to pause and look away from the thing you are doing (aka reading this) take a deep breath in, feel your belly expand, your shoulders expand, hold it one moment, and let it go for a count of 10. Good job.

There are so many ways to breathe, but just taking a deep breath like this will center your body and create a tangible force field of awesome around you. Don't believe me? Try it.

Bonus points for doing a cycle of five.

Number 2: Focus on the thing you are doing

I know, super sexy. 

Seriously though (after reading this), stop, think, what is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you could be doing RIGHT NOW? Got it?

Cool.

Now do that thing. Shut all the everything else down and set a timer for 20 minutes. Use an app, use your phone, go analog and look at a clock. Just - at this moment - put 20 minutes of focused time on the thing you need to do.

Focus is like magic pixie dust. Enjoy. 

Number 3: Write a friend a note

You have probably seen the Upworthy or heard about random acts of kindness - or maybe not. No matter. 

Your mission is to connect.

Be slightly vulnerable. 

Make sure those out there know you care. 

So pick someone you enjoy, someone you respect, someone who makes you smile, and drop them a line. Email will do, but can you imagine what getting an out of the blue physical card would be like in today's world?

Trees be damned* a card is pretty legit.

***

And there you have it my quick and dirty list of things YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW to uplevel your day.

*I kid, I love trees

Ay! You there, yeah, you!!

Give yourself a hi-five. You deserve it.

I had coffee with my friend and awesome acupuncturist Maria (she is rad you should check her out at Ageless Acupuncture) and she gave me some much needed advice.

She told me to relax and enjoy this break in life.

She gave me permission to just be.

Do you know how awesome that is? Permission to just exist for a moment? To be worthy as is with no need to prove, show, or produce?

So. I want each and everyone of you to give yourself a hi-five and give yourself permission to be good enough as is.

#PAUSEDAILY

Hey, what're you doing? Stop. Breathe. 

You guys. 

It is so important to take a moment and just stop. Look around. Be aware. Where are you, what's around you, how do you feel?

We move so fast through everything.

Do this, then that, then that, and what am I having for dinner tonight... do I need to stop at the store? Wait no I don't, but right when I get home I'm going to have to take out the meat and SHOOT I DO NEED TO STOP I don't have any salt, shoot! Oh and I need to send that email... and... oh wait... it's the 2nd I need to pay rent!

Whoa. So many thoughts. Lists. To-dos. All the time. It is easy to bubble up and not take in what's around and this is OK, but do you know how magical it is to just pause?

Stop for a second. Settle your brain. Breathe in and look around.

Disconnect from all the shoulds, needs, have tos, and did Is - and just appreciate the present moment for the space of a breathe.

Pause. 

Daily. 

It is like the most awesome, lightweight, impactful, meditation you can do.

Sleep.

I'll SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD!

There was a time in my life where I subscribed to the philosophy “I’LL SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD BITCHES!!!!” Go, go, go, so much to do all the time! Never time to miss the FUN. At the time, I had a few friends that were SUPER into their 8 hours of sleep every night. And I remember thinking -

 WEAK!

They were made of frailer stuff than I. I who was doing AWESOME on my 4 to maybe 6 hours of sleep. I WHO WOULD RULE THE WORLD.  If I could just stay focused long enough... and not fall asleep on my desk... and not... zzzzz.... what? what just happend?

Looking back I want to shake young me - SLEEP IS SO IMPORTANT - I want to stress this so hard that you tell me to shut up, you tell me ANNETTE WE GET IT, CALM YOURSELF!

Sleep is magic for your body.  People pay a crazy amounts money on powders, supplements, cleanses, detoxes, etc. when a more effective cure is free and overlooked.  Sleep is way more powerful and impactful to your health than you realize.  

Sleep affects how you see the world.  It affects how you make decisions.  It affects your mood.  How you recover. Aging, your digestion, how you learn, how you retain.  It affects weight loss (or lack thereof).  It affects your stress levels.  Your focus.  Your memory.  Your ability to be patient.  To be kind. To be grateful. Sleep plays into all of that.

Mark Sisson over at Mark's Daily Apple wrote a great guide to sleep, worth a gander. 

I know a lot of people have the best intentions when it comes to going to sleep, but have trouble shutting down. There are a few things you can try to make this transition easier:

1) Get off your devices - do this at least an hour before you intend on going to bed. The light is stimulating and messes with your body's understanding that it is time to shut down.

2) Night time ritual - I recommend tea and writing. Dim the lights, make some tea, write down thoughts of the day, or a few things you are grateful for - doing this regularly will make your body understand ahhh this is the thing we do before going to bed. It is like a puppy, sometimes it needs to be trained.

3) Bring down the lights - transition into a more nighttime looking world.

4) Focus on breathing - calm your mind by sticking with your breath. Breathe in - count one, breathe out - count two, breathe in - count three, breathe out - count four, and so on until you reach ten - then repeat.

 

Sleep is money on the table.

Pick it up, put it in your pocket - see how awesome it feels.