June 20, 2009
Last month, we provided a timeline for making your morning and day the best they can be. Many of you shared how you focus on the small pleasures in each day instead of dwelling on the negative. Here are some ideas about how to round out your day on a positive note.
As you head home from your day - whether it was at work, running errands, or cleaning your home - focus on the positive experiences you had. Think about how you're going to spend your evening with family or friends.
Eat a healthy dinner - one that includes protein and fiber. Use a 9-inch plate instead of a larger one to control portions. Cover half your plate with vegetables. You can have one glass of alcohol with dinner. Take your pick, but for many people, a favorite is a glass of red wine - it's got some amazing cardiovascular benefits. Try not to eat much later than this. Eating early gives you time to digest your food so it doesn't stick to your waist line or interfere with sleep. Sit down and eat your meal with your family and enjoy the conversation. After dinner, take the other half of your multivitamin. Splitting them keeps a constant level in your bloodstream.
If you have work to do, share it. Working together builds teamwork, a close family, and a clean home.
Call, e-mail, or instant message someone. This could be an old colleague you haven't spoken to in a while, your parents, your grown children - whoever. If it's a good friend, talk a little longer to them. Connecting socially to someone who understands you can help develop your goals, passions, even your spiritual side. If nobody's available on the phone, write a hand-written thank you note to an influential person in your life.
Do a 20-minute workout. Yoga is great - it builds flexibility, balance, and muscle tone. Try to add 10 minutes of exercise on your abdominals and lower back. Not only will you have a washboard stomach, but a strong back will protect you from injuries and pain. You can exercise in front of the television if you like, but don't zone out. Pick a program that holds your attention.
Play time. Play with your children, your children's children, or your neighbor's children. It'll keep you young. If they're your kids and you're putting them to bed, have a conversation with them. Kids will speak more honestly and listen better when they're tired and their guard is down. You can find out what they're thinking or pass along your own wisdom.
Take five minutes to be alone. Get into a meditative state by humming the word "yummm" to yourself. It'll clear your mind and let you de-stress. After meditating, spend 10 minutes or so jotting down ideas on how you want to live. Ask yourself how you can help others. Think of a ritual you can implement in your family to keep you all connected - like family movie night or a dinner out once a week. Assess your career - are you doing something you really enjoy?
Prepare for bed. Brush your teeth - for at least two minutes - and wash and moisturize your face. Keep the lights dim and the room cool so you can easily slip into sleep - an abrupt fall into sleep after sending out a few e-mails while watching the end of the latest action flick doesn't work so well.
Spend some time with your partner, just the two of you. Reciprocal massages can be a source of emotional bonding, as well as having de-stressing health benefits.
Drift - remember, abrupt plunges into bed make it harder - to sleep with peaceful thoughts on your beautiful day. You have nearly eight hours until you wake up in the morning for another beautiful day.
Keeping the right attitude and habits pays off daily.