10 Tips Designed to Keep You on Your Toes

“Life is best enjoyed when time periods are evenly divided between labor, sleep, and recreation…all people should spend one-third of their time in recreation which is rebuilding, voluntary activity, never idleness.” ~ Brigham Young

With so much going on in the daily life of the average Joe, it is hard to stay motivated.  We sometimes feel beaten down by society and all the things we occupy ourselves with, voluntary or involuntary.  This can range from commuting, work, school runs, to housework, helping the kids with homework, cooking and finding precious time to unwind — which usually ends up with us watching TV. But how can we manage our time better to incorporate the things we long to do but feel we have no time for?

10 Tips Designed to Keep You on Your Toes

1. Quality Sleep

This is one of the most important things you can gift yourself and your family with.  Make space in your night-time schedule to start winding down at least 1 hour prior to going to bed.  You can light some calming, soothing essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile — will assist in good, sound sleep.  You can have a warm, milky drink or some herbal tea.  Switch off all radios and TV’s that are keeping you engaged in noise and ‘action’.  Instead, you can read that book you’ve been promising yourself or listen to some relaxing music.  All of these things can aid you into an alpha brain wave state, which allows your mind to relax and disconnect.  You must avoid falling asleep on a full stomach or, even worse, falling asleep with the TV on.  Your mind still takes in everything it hears, even whilst asleep, and having the TV on will not only disrupt your sleep but possibly cause you to have nightmares.

2. Berry Boost

With a good night’s sleep tucked safely under your belt, what better way to start your morning off with than a berry smoothie?  This is quick and easy to make and will give your system a boost of sustainable energy.  These smoothies keep me going for about 4-5 hours.  They are great for your skin too, berries have anti-aging properties and the calcium is good for your bones, ladies!  A quick recipe I use is (for one 500ml serving):  Take 2 handfuls of mixed, frozen berries (or fresh if you like, I like the frozen ones because they give a kind of ‘crushed ice’ effect), 2 squirts of Stevia, 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt and top up with some milk.  Blend and drink your way to vitality and well-being!

3. Time Productivity

Use your time wisely.  If you commute to work by public service, take this opportunity to meditate or read.  Make it ‘you’ time.  If you can, it is great to shut your eyes in the morning and the evening (could be on your way to or from work  if you are traveling by public service) — for just 10-20 minutes at a time — to meditate and clear your mind.  This will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine.  It also gives you a break from the mind chatter or what I like to call ‘white noise’.  This allows more productive thoughts through instead of the useless and incessant worry that can clog up the mind.

4. Breathing

Huh?  Don’t I do this automatically?  Yes, but most people are in the habit of shallow breathing.  You need to oxygenate your body for optimum productivity and chi (vital force).  Try to, at least every hour, breath in to the count of 5, hold it to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 5.  This will give you a boost during the day.

5. Let Loose

This is an integral step for you to de-stress after a long day. Explore an activity that is tantamount to letting the ‘inner child’ out to play.  I find it really helpful to put on some upbeat music and have a sing-song and dance around the house.  Get your groove on and invite your family to join in.  You can do this for just 30 minutes and it is a really fun way to get moving and to unwind.  The best part is you also get a great workout — physically and vocally!  Let your inner diva shine!

6. Keep it Clean

This is a macrocosm/microcosm thing — it affects the inside and the outside world.  When you have a neat, tidy and clean home and/or office, you are happier.  When you have a clean, refreshed body, you are happier.  I have to tell you about my dog.  She hates her bath, as do so many of our canine counterparts, but after she has been through this torturous activity, she runs around the garden like a dog-reborn — smiling, barking and just generally frolicking like a pup.  Bath-time also equates to going for a walk (which she does regularly) but when she walks after her bath, she has a spring in her step and a wag in her tail that is much more noticeable.  This is a great metaphor for how we feel when our bodies are bathed (make your bath-time a treat too — get some nice smelly soaps and bubble bath and make it an event) and our houses or offices are spic-and-span and organized.

7. Eat Well

Another part of keeping it clean is keeping the inside of your sacred body clean and invest in a detox every now and again.  Or better still, make it a daily habit of eating healthy fresh foods.  You know the kind I’m talking about so I’m not going to go into detail.  This is a no-brainer, you are what you eat.  Keep it fresh, colorful and simple and your system will be alive and vibrant, leaving you feeling energized and ready to take on the world.  Have you noticed how sluggish you feel when you’ve pigged out on a burger and chips?  Yeah?  Well, you need to get real about what you are putting in and perhaps compare that to what you are getting out!  You may have a Porsche but you can’t run it on horse manure.

8. Creative Space

This is really important.  We all need to express ourselves creatively, no matter if it takes the form of art, writing, decorating, drawing, constructing/ building, etc.  It is hugely beneficial to give yourself some time and a quiet space to be creative.  If it is once a day, that is great.  If you can’t fit it in daily then at least allocate yourself a good few days of the week to squeeze in 2-3 hours of creative expression time.  You can even make this a family activity where everyone gets the time out to do something fun.  It will teach you and your family the benefit of taking care of your own needs in an unselfish and productive way.

9. Gratitude

Take time out, especially with your family, to give thanks for all that you do have in your life right now.  This can be a meal, as is commonly practiced in the saying of Grace.  I am not a religious person but I do see the benefits of giving thanks.  This could also be done in your quiet time in the bath, or whilst you are commuting, etc.  You can explain the benefits to your family and encourage them to also find a quiet minute or two to reflect on being grateful.  This feeds positivity and will nurture your good feelings ratio.

10. Reflect

When you find the space to reflect on your life, your goals and your dreams, you can keep the picture of your destiny clear and precise.  When you don’t take time out to ponder and to re-align with your intentions, you may lose sight of where you are headed.  You can sometimes slip into a stream that does not fit the destination of your dream.  Make a vision board where you can pin all the things you desire and all that you would like to manifest in your life experience.  Make sure you hold yourself accountable for taking action towards your goals and keep this board somewhere where you will see it every day.

What is most important of all is that you enjoy your journey, this life is precious and special and you can make each day an enjoyable experience.  If you catch yourself falling into boredom or despair, simply remind yourself that you can make a choice to re-align to a more joyful outlook — run through this checklist and see if there is anything you can do or improve on to bring you into a state of balance and fulfillment.

In the wise words of Eckhart Tolle, you can either be enthusiastic about what you are doing, enjoy what you are doing or accept what you are doing.  When you do not fall into any of these 3 categories you set yourself up for feeling resentment or frustration.

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Cherie Roe Dirksen

Cherie is a self-empowerment author, multi-media artist and meditation music composer from Cape Town, South Africa. She has weekly blogs on her site www.cherieroedirksen.com where she discusses practical and insightful perspectives on taking responsibility for your actions and ultimately living the life you came here to experience. She also devotes a weekly blog to creativity and the artistic process.

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12 Comments

  • Reply

    Josh Brown

    14, August 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Great article Cherie! This was a useful reminder for me to take a step back and reflect on how I spend my time. I particularly like the idea of allocating time just to breathe and reflect on life. It reminds me of a great quote from Ferris Bueller – “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Cheers, keep up the good work!

    • Reply

      Cherie Roe Dirksen

      16, August 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks, Josh. Like your excellent quote suggests, if we are continually living for the future, our whole life passes us by. The breathing technique is such a simple tool to bring you into your body and to ground you in the present moment (which is really the only moment there is). It is also valuable to try this breathing when you are eating — this makes you more conscious of your food and can help your digestion too.

  • Reply

    Carissa Priore

    8, August 2012 at 2:18 am

    I most certainly find these articles that you write very helpful in my own life in one way or another each and every day that I read them. I suffer from (DDD) Degenerative Disk Disease with Stenosis as well as Degenerative Arthritis and have already had 3 surgeries and am going in for a 4th one in 2 weeks, so keeping up a healthy lifestyle helps me in ways of trying to keep the word depression out of my life period. Not always an easy thing to do, but I manage. I am one that loves living my life to its fullest and the tips that you bring to my attention in these articles are very much help to me in abling me to be able to do this. Thank you so much Cherie for all of your articles and for the ways that you have benefited my life with them in many positive ways! God Bless you sweetheart!!!

    • Reply

      Cherie Roe Dirksen

      8, August 2012 at 10:53 am

      Hi Carissa. What an inspiration you are! Keep on with the attitude of loving your life and you will always be a winner. I think you are a very brave and wise woman, having such an optimistic take on your situation. In keeping yourself inspired and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you are showing self-respect and self-worth — 2 amazing attributes to gift yourself with. I wish you all the best with your up-and-coming surgery — I’m sure all the readers here will join me in sending you love and healing. Thank you for this beautiful and encouraging comment. Much respect, Cherie.

  • Reply

    Mike (FMM Buddhism)

    7, August 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Sharing this for sure. #10 Reflect is indeed something I don’t seem to do enough of.
    Mike

    • Reply

      Cherie Roe Dirksen

      8, August 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thank you for sharing, Mike. It can be quite difficult in our busy lives to actually stop and give ourselves time to ‘catch up’. The thing is that when we do, it opens up new doorways and allows us to see where we may have become stuck.

  • Reply

    Cheryl Braganza

    7, August 2012 at 11:28 am

    Waking up to the Purpose Fairy adds meaning to my life every day. I love the quotes and photos. As an artist, it even inspires my paintings. Cherie’s article aligns my thought processes. Thank you.

    • Reply

      Cherie Roe Dirksen

      7, August 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Hello fellow artist! Many thanks for your lovely comment, Cheryl, so glad that you resonate with the article.

  • Reply

    Kyana

    7, August 2012 at 8:11 am

    I love these suggestions! especially the berry smoothie and creative space. We feel so much more inspired when we take care of our body’s nutritional needs. Also, giving ourselves the freedom to express our true natures through art, whether you consider yourself an artist or not, can transform our lives. thank you for sharing this information!

    • Reply

      Cherie Roe Dirksen

      7, August 2012 at 10:02 am

      Hi Kyana. I’m so glad you liked the post. We sure do feel better when we are taking care of and nurturing our body as well as our outer needs. I recently read an article about depression that stated that there is a dramatic increase of wellness in the patient as soon as they start taking regular exercise, especially walking in nature. Thanks for reading and keep the creative juices flowing!

  • Reply

    Debbie Vinyard

    7, August 2012 at 5:46 am

    Love this, it is what I need at almost 1 am! Think I will get some milk. I am going to reread and share this tomorrow. 🙂

    • Reply

      Cherie Roe Dirksen

      7, August 2012 at 10:03 am

      Hi Debbie! You were up late (or should I say early?)…I hope you managed to get some quality sleep in! Thanks for your comment.

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