Ch.Ch.Ch.Changes

People spend more than 1/3 of their day either at work or getting to and from work.  And in some cases it’s more than 1/2 of their day!  That is way too much time to spend doing something that you don’t enjoy or that makes you miserable.  Not to mention how bad the stress and aggravation can be for your health (high blood pressure, anxiety, sleep disorders, heart disease, the list goes on and on).  I’ve already talked about how riding the bus has made a huge difference, but sometimes people don’t have as much control over their jobs/careers/means of support.

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I am one of the more fortunate ones.  I didn’t like what I was doing or the environment that I was doing it in…So after eight years of waiting until I vested in my retirement benefits I made a change, effective Monday.  I am lucky enough to not only have an abundance of opportunities available as a result of my skill-set, but to be able to stay with my current company and continue to work towards retirement.  Knowing that I don’t have to go back to that situation again makes me feel like I can breathe again.

I did take a pay cut, and people called me crazy.  But it was worth it to me.  I made the choice that my sanity and well-being of not only myself, but my family, were more important than the income that I would lose.  I can honestly say that I have not once looked back and/or regretted my decision.  I’m doing something that I love and doing it in a stress-free environment that has completely helped me alter my lifestyle back to a healthy and happy one.  And people have taken notice.

Vacations are Mandatory in My Book

I love vacations…but who doesn’t. The most recent adventure was a 7 night cruise that visited Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. It was the first cruise I’ve ever been on and can I PLEASE tell you that I absolutely LOVED it and it will definitely not be my last!cropped-cropped-20170717_095741.jpg

But vacations are not something that people should just dream about. People should make it a point to go on vacations, as often as possible. And here’s why:

  • Vacations Can Relieve Stress – This one really needs no explanation. Taking a break from work, even for a couple days at a time, will help alleviate the constant exposure to triggers that may lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. On my cruise I would just sit at the front of the boat and watch the open water and breathe in. It was so incredibly peaceful and relaxing. I’m so glad I snapped a photo so that I can go back to that state of mind if I ever feel the stress and anxiety come on.
  • Vacations Can Help You Lose Weight – Believe it or not, going on vacation does not always mean you have to gain weight! Often times people are more active on vacations than when they are sitting all day at their desks being sedentary. While it may be true that people tend to eat more, indulge, and even overeat on vacations, many times these extra calories are burned off by all the extra activities and adventures. I ate a TON on the ship…there’s a never ending food supply! And it was DELICIOUS. But I also did things like zip-lining, snorkeling and hiking. And the ship had an amazing fitness center! Yes. I visited it…AND worked out…HONEST!!
  • Vacations Can Help You Become More Productive – Several studies have been done with regards to children and recess having increased productivity levels in those children that were exposed to more breaks and playtime. The same concept is true for adults. Giving the mind and body a rest from the routine helps you come back refreshed and invigorated, ready to take on the world.
  • Vacations Can Help Improve relationships – Spending some quality time with your loved ones and family members away from your normal environment can help bring people closer together. Being away from the stress and chaos of your everyday life can relieve some of the tension that builds up over time making and make it hard to truly enjoy the people you love.
  • Vacations Can Help You Broaden Your Insight and Perspective – Going new places and having new experiences opens your mind to new cultures and ideas which could, in turn, lead to more creative on the job thinking and increased workplace performance. I’m not sure if zip-lining will give me any great and innovative ideas in the workplace, but it was a new experience nonetheless. One that left me with a battle wound to remember the experience for as long as it stays. Will I ever do it again? Maybe. Maybe not. If I find a baby course I might think about it.

It’s not always easy to set aside funds to go and enjoy yourself when you have so many other things to pay for. Houses, college savings, medical bills…the list goes on and on. But I made the decision a few years ago that vacations are something I owed not only to myself, but to my daughter. She deserved to have a mom that enjoyed herself and wasn’t stressed all the time and that took the time to relax and show her new and amazing things.

Immediate Tranquility

turtle-2323059_1920My desktop screen saver images at work are all of luscious beach landscapes and turtles swimming in the ocean.  To me this is the essence of peace and calm.  I catch a glimpse of these images on the my second screen as they alternate and immediately  feel the serenity.

Just a few milliseconds can change your entire mood and outlook.  Take advantage of that every chance you get and it will make a huge difference not only in your work day but in your overall mental well-being.

 

 

Wine On…

WhiteBase4I need to get one of these…not only for myself but for a few of my friends. And hey, they say drinking wine in moderation will help with cholesterol, stress, cancer prevention and a myriad of other ailments…so I MUST do it…FOR MY HEALTH…right?

I Ride the Bus…

They say your commute to and from work every day will take 5 years off of your life at a minimum. My commute is often times an hour or more each way.

I know riding the bus, even as plush and modernly equipped as it is, may not be what all the “cool kids” do. But can I PLEASE tell you how much more relaxing the beginning and end of my work days are now?!?!

I never even realized how much sitting in traffic affected my mental state…driving and traffic never really bothered me or stressed me out…or so I thought…

There are so many positives to having convenient access to public transportation and I’m lucky enough to be able to take advantage of something that takes even a little bit of stress out of the day!