Thursday, March 5, 2009

Daily Routine - Relaxing

The WINNER is: SARAH (bluhmfamily)!!! Contact me at paula@bigpicturescrapbooking.com
Before I get into Relaxing have you seen this commercial for the Kia Soul? After Kirk and I saw this we wanted to go out and buy one - not sure if it was the cute red car or the adorable hamsters rockin' out in it? I think the latter...I wonder if you can get them as an option?
Hopefully that little video put a smile on your face today! Relaxing is something that I have put as a priority for myself. In the past I would work CRAZY hours, sleep for a short time only to get up and do it all over again. It was literally killing me. Now I always try to find time to relax in my day. During the weekday it usually happens at night after 8pm when I step away from the computer and head upstairs. I take a cup of hot tea and my water and snuggle into bed with the dogs and hubby to either watch TV, read a book, or read my magazines. I don't have any business books or magazines upstairs - only entertainment pubs. On the weekend it is sitting on the couch watching a movie or reading a book and the office phone is turned off. These are truly acts of relaxation for me - scrapbooking, knitting, sewing, going shopping are all things that I enjoy doing but they are not relaxing. My brain still has to function at 110%!

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."Mark Twain

READING - I have been a passionate reader for most of my life. There was a period after college that I didn't pick up one single book - all I wanted to read were trash mags. But then I found the passion again and haven't stopped since. I read all kinds of books, I am not stuck on any one kind of genre. However the whole vampire theme took over my life last summer with the Twillight series and the Southern Vampire series. It was vampires 24/7! You can check out my reads on Goodreads.com - I love this site for tracking my books and also seeing what my friends are reading. If you are signed up please add me as a friend and if you are not go check it out, it may be the catalyst to start reading again. April Peebles and I also facilitate a free online book club at Big Picture Scrapbooking called the Reading Room. We would love to have you join us - the book list for 2009 is exciting and the participation from members is so insightful. Right now we are reading Focus on the Good Stuff by Mike Robbins.

Because I love to read so much I have amassed a huge collection of books. I keep most of my hardcover books and usually pass on my paperbacks or donate them. But now I have been giving some serious thought to getting a Kindle. I have been hesitant to add one more technology piece to my collection but after receiving so many testamonials from friends I may pull the trigger. First I need to find out how bad our taxes are going to be this year! If you have a Kindle let me know what you like and dislike about it -

TEA - I am not sure if the tea is actually the relaxer, I think it more the act of having a cup of tea. In the winter you cozy up on the couch with a good book, blanket and warm cup of tea. In the summer you are outside in the warmth of the sun enjoying a cool glass of sun tea. Both of those scenarios are relaxing to me, it's more of the act and the preparing than it is the taste of the beverage. It is almost like meditation - which I will get to in a moment. Lately I have been buying more loose leaf tea that I find on my travels. It does taste better than the tea in the packets but you also need to know how to prepare it. But I do like some of the teas in packets - Tazo Blueberry White tea and The Republic of Tea Vanilla Almond and Green tea. Make sure that you don't over brew the tea or have your water too hot. I have an electric kettle that I can set the temperature for different kinds of teas. You are thinking by now that I have really lost my marbles! But I took a tea class at the spa retreat I went to last September and found that I liked a lot of different teas when they are prepared right. Most of the time I felt that tea was bitter, so I added either milk or honey - now I can drink all of the teas straight.

MEDITATION - Before you start rolling your eyes...I am not talking about the crystal incense burning meditation. At least not right now - ha! But try this out for the next four days. Each day set aside five minutes - just FIVE minutes, set a timer. Make sure you are not going to be interrupted, turn off your phones. Get into a comfortable seated position, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. In and out - counting (to yourself) one, two, three, four breathing in and the same breathing out. Controlling your breath. See if you can make your breaths longer. Now here is the hard part - don't let your mind wander. Concentrate on your breath, not on 'I should be folding laundry right now', 'I need to answer that email', 'this Paula chick has totally lost her mind - is she a scrapbooker?', 'what are we going to have for dinner', 'OMG I have no more points left in my day, what am I going to eat'... my assumption is the first time you do this your mind is going to wander. It's hard - but you should be able to clear your mind for at least 15 minutes a day where you are totally relaxed and oblivious to the outside world. That's why I want you to start in 5 minute increments. It takes practice, I can do 15 minutes here and there. My mind wanders and that is a good indication that I need to slow down.

All of this talk about relaxing has me thinking that I am going to do just that over the next few days so I will be gone until next week!  I am going to leave you with a great post to check out over at Zen Habits - How to Deal with Major Disruptions and today's giveaway
 
  • 52 Scrapbooking Challenges by the talented Elsie - I have done the challenges and want to pass it on to someone else in hopes that they will keep on passing it on!
  • Collection of some of my favorite teas
  • Handwarmer mug - my favorite mug 
I will be announcing the winner on Tuesday before 10 am PST - be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the random drawing. Have a wonderful RELAXING weekend!

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