Don’t forget you!

Don’t forget you!

What. a. WEEK.

Work was crazy. Personal life was crazy. And, our county has been a little crazy gearing up for our next presidential election.

When our lives (and the lives around us) are busy, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves.

So, as the weekend approaches, think about what you need to do for you (and this doesn’t need to be extravagant)!

Need a starting point?

  • Actually eat (read: chew!) lunch – don’t scarf it down in 2 minutes flat
  • Take 30 minutes to start a book you’ve been meaning to read (for fun)
  • Take a long shower
  • Get outside and go for a walk (even if just around the parking lot)
  • Get a Pumpkin Spice Latte (celebrate the season, right?!) and spend a few minutes at a coffee shop

Doing something for you doesn’t have to be extravagant and a little self-care can do wonders for your energy level.

ENJOY!

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Take a Break!

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We’ve been focusing the past few weeks on how to be most effective while working from home – from getting organized while working from home to recognizing and staying at your productive peek.

But what if you’re too focused? Our team member, Jocelyn Dove, is here to help!

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 7.32.59 AMOne hurdle I have been striving to accomplish is taking breaks! What’s a break? When you are in an office environment you may not realize that you have several breaks…the “coffee break”, the “bathroom break,” the “random peer coming to your cube break”, the required “lunch break”, and then the “end of the day/work is over break”.  

I really didn’t realize how many “breaks” I was truly afforded when working in a traditional office environment until I started working from home! One morning I made breakfast and sat down with my cup of coffee to start the day and then BAM! It was 10:46 PM and my coffee cup was dry and I couldn’t recall the last time I went to the bathroom or had a glass of water. But now it’s too late to eat dinner because I should be going to bed soon, but realize “why not?” because I’m just going to wear yoga pants anyway…

Ever done that before? That was a big wake-up call that I had to get some structure around taking breaks. Here’s what I’ve done to help myself that might apply to you:

  1. Added a break to my work calendar with a reminder. I’ve even made it look like an official meeting on my calendar so people know they can’t steal my time!
  2. Made plans to leave the house – I’ve set up a lunch date with friends, planned to go to the grocery store, got my car serviced, haircut etc. SOMETHING that get’s you out of the house in a planful way
  3. Found a workspace outside of my home office to devote a couple of hours to a day. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a museum or coffee shop will work just fine!
  4. Get a pet (I haven’t done this, but I’ve heard this helps!). A pet needs love and maybe a walk at some point during the day – a perfect trigger to take a break

Thanks, Jocelyn! Can anyone else relate to not prioritizing yourself throughout the day? What tips do you have on making sure to take breaks?

The Lions

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Wait? The Lions?

At this point in time I’d guess you are thinking one of two things: 1) Um, Who? Is that some sports team? Or 2) The Lions? I know they have Stafford but is he really getting them the wins they need?

As Americans, we’re known for a few quirky traditions on our Thanksgiving holiday– but one that touches all is the Detroit Lions football team: they always play on Thanksgiving and they always play that game at home.

They must be amazing, right?! Not so. In the last 10 years – they’ve only won their last 2 games. Yikes – a 1:5 winning ratio.

For this game, though, it doesn’t really matter if they win or lose (though for a while whoever they were playing had high hopes of an additional “W” to their record) – it’s the fact that everyone comes together. It’s a moment when each family member treks into the room with the TV and takes a peek at the score with either a “YES!” or an “ughhhhh” to follow.

It can be so easy in the hustle and bustle of life to even be distracted on Thanksgiving. You need to make sure all the food is ready, that you leave on time, and prep yourself to see “that” family member that things have been a little tense with.

And, you also need to make sure you REST on your two days off before you run back to work on Monday (can you pencil my nap in at 2:00 p.m. on Friday?)

As we’ve been talking about all the ways to take a break, we encourage you to do so on Thanksgiving too. Put your feet up for a sec. Take delight in your family gathered around the table. Spend some extra time cranking out those awesome mashed potatoes of yours.

Don’t let the pressure of the holiday steal away from you the time that you have.

Maybe even sit down to watch the Lions play, with your family or friends, and use that as a great excuse to take that break you deserve!

Take a Break- Know What You Need

Take a Break- What You Need

Over the past couple of weeks we have talked about different ways to think about taking a break.

Have you ever taken your typical break (getting outside / creating something / spending time with those close to you) and were left, well, needing ANOTHER break?

Different times call for different types of breaks.

It’s important to take “each kind” of break and make time for it. If you are always making the time to take mental breaks but never making the space to be around those you love, you’ll still be fighting to feel like you’re getting the break you need.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 7.22.41 AMThis week, we have Sheila Clark with us, sharing about the different types of breaks she really enjoys.

What is that thing that you love to do? I love to read a good book, and occasionally enjoy some creative time behind a sewing machine.

Why do you love to do that? My grandmother instilled the love of creativity into my life at a young age. Through the years, I’ve developed some great relationships among others who share similar hobbies. Both sewing and reading also allow me some time to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and rejuvenate.

In the midst of a busy schedule, how do you find time to do it? In all honesty, I have to schedule time for these things, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Reading a chapter or two at night before turning out the light, or in the morning over a cup of coffee. Scheduling a half hour in the early morning or on the weekend to work on a project behind my sewing machine.

What is one tip you’d make to someone who wanted to create a little more space to do something they enjoy? It’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of others or to work through the daily agenda. I have more energy and capacity to meet the busy demands of my life when I’ve invested some time in my own self-care. 

This week, we’d encourage you to be a little more reflective and think about what types of breaks you do well, and what kinds you can make a little more space in your life for.

It’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of others or to work through the daily agenda.

We will leave you with this thought, I have more energy and capacity to meet the busy demands of my life when I’ve invested some time in my own self-care.

Take a Break- Be Creative

Take a Break- Creative!

“I want you to CREATE something.”

I would guess you just felt one of two things… either thrilled excitement OR a sinking pit in your stomach.

From quite a young age, we seem to “identify” ourselves as either creative or not – and it’s usually based on what we perceive our artistic ability to be.

We are all creative – we just tend to think about creativity with a very narrow definition.

Dr. Lynne Levesque, a business creativity consultant, is known for her work in this area. Lynne identified eight different styles of creativity to bucket talent in organizations.

A couple of these styles are:

  • The Explorer: whose catalytic creativity is like that of many serial entrepreneurs and successful marketers
  • The Visionary: whose futuristic creativity is represented by internet gurus, prophets, and strategists
  • The Pilot: whose strategic creativity we see in skilled project managers and organizational designers
  • The Diplomat: whose collaborative creativity is revealed by humanitarians, civil rights activists and caring 
leaders

Additional research shows that getting out of yourself and into a creative space (whether it’s painting an acrylic masterpiece or creating an entirely new organizational design) allows you to experience an expanded sense of time, become a better problem solver, and even experience stress relief.

Kelly EllisThis week we have Kelly Ellis with us sharing what she loves to go to take a break with her creativity.

What is that thing that you love to do? My new hobby is refinishing furniture (I’m a re-furber!)

Why do you love to do that? There’s something magical about taking something old and not so pretty, putting in a lot of hard work (and sometimes blood, sweat, and tears), and then stepping back and directly seeing what I accomplished.

In my day job, it’s hard to see what’s actually been completed each day. It’s even harder to see if it’s gotten done with excellence. Lots of meetings, lots of pep talks, lots of shuffling schedules / tasks / resources. But with refinishing furniture, I get the satisfaction of seeing the direct output of my time and energy (both good and bad!).

In the midst of a busy schedule, how do you find time to do it? I focus on taking baby steps toward the completion of my projects – planning out what needs to get done in large buckets first, then dissecting each bucket into smaller tasks. This means that I can complete a small task (think sanding the top of a table or taping a canvas off for painting) that takes less time than a whole bucket, but still leaves the same feeling of satisfaction of moving forward.

What is one tip you’d make to someone who wanted to create a little more space to do something they enjoy? Sometimes the act of starting a huge task / project / challenge is paralyzing – even when we are doing what we ENJOY to do. By breaking your goal into smaller chunks, you’ll consistently make progress – keeping your motivation high, happiness levels up, and creativity flowing!

Think about what type of creativity really excites you and find time to take a break from your normal routine and make time for it.

Fall Break

Fall Break

If you have been out and about lately, you have probably noticed the large number of college students who happen to be around on the weekend.

For just a day or two is seems like it’s summer again. Around this time of year students enjoy “fall break”, which though is may be only a day or two off of school, allows for a much needed break.

Even though these weeks are packed and you’ve got quite a number of deliverables due, we’d recommend you find a way to give yourself a break. Take yourself out to lunch instead of chowing down on your sandwich at your desk. On Saturday, instead of doing all the things you feel like you should have been doing, enjoy the cooler weather and head to a pumpkin farm or go on a hike. Or maybe even just switch up your work set-up (you most certainly deserve that cool new mouse pad).

Even if you don’t feel like you can physically take much ‘time out’ right now, creating the space to give yourself a mental break or change is really important.

Trust us, it might just be exactly what you need.

Rest This Labor Day

Well, the weekend we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.

Labor Day Weekend.

The last hurrah of summer. A weekend of great sales. The last regulated day off before Thanksgiving (don’t think about how far away that is!).

Many times we take a day, like Labor Day, to do or finish all those things we don’t anticipate we’ll have time for in the next couple of months.

But, we want to encourage you to rest. Yes – rest. Not necessarily sleeping in, but taking the time to really give yourself a break- either mentally, physically, or emotionally.

It’s important for rest to be apart of our lives on a consistent basis. But for now, take a break this weekend. You deserve it.