The 15 minutes a Day Challenge

August 14th, 2009

Lilamani and I have been challenging each other to take time for ourselves for the past few months which has inspired us to write this blog and inspire you to do the same. When is the last time you really took time out for yourself? Think about it, how many times have you heard someone say I can’t do it, I don’t have enough time! 

Yesterday, I forced myself to get in the pool and said I was going to swim for a mere 15 minutes a day and guess what it turned into 40 minutes instead. So, Lilamani, what are you going to do today?? 

So who else wants to take this 15 minute a day challenge on? We want to hear from you – so tell us what you are going to do for your 15 minutes!

15 minutes a day

August 5th, 2009

Are you struggling to control your anger? Losing weight, gaining weight? Waking up at 2am in the morning regularly? Your stomach churns, back aches and headaches are frequent. Or maybe you are finding it difficult to keep up with everything you have to do – which seems like a never ending list that continues to grow? Are you always anxious that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to balance home and work, social life and everyday tasks? You find yourself often dreaming about a 25 hour day or see yourself escaping the hum drum to a far away island away from daily demands! 

 

If you answered “yes” to any of these then keep on reading.

 

Your gut instinct, that little voice in your head will start to recognize these clues. Translated into words they could be the first signs that your stress levels have increased. The stress bender, can result is a decrease in productivity on the job and less harmonious relationships off the job.

 

If you are concerned about your health and welfare then its time to get off the roller-coaster.  Give the people in your life the quality time they deserve by giving yourself some time out. This will help refresh you and will refresh your immediate relationships with family, friends and work colleagues.

 

Start changing some of your routines today. It will only take 15 minutes a day then build it up from there:-

 

 

 

  1. Take a walk, run, meditate, do yoga, swim or join a sports team – exercise will give you a natural high and keep you healthy.
  2. Indulge and Pamper yourself – bubble baths, massages, beauty treatments, golf, watch a sports game
  3. Spend time alone at a café – read, write, think
  4. Listen to music, go to a movie, have a night out with friends – learn to laugh out loud, it is a powerful relaxant
  5. Take mini naps – 10 minutes, or close your eyes for 5 -10 minutes and count backwards from 99, try thinking of nothing but the counting
  6. Ask for help – there is no shame in asking or needing a hand – no man is an island!
  7. Make the time you have count with the people you love even if it is only for 15 minutes – when concentrated and focused it can feel like a lifetime for both parties. This is more enduring than spending an hour together thinking of other things, on the phone and generally disengaged. 
  8. Don’t fill every minute and every hour with stuff – kids or not, just sit and watch the world go by even if it’s for 15 minutes a day.
  9. Have some fun and bring that playful “you” out – life is too short not to.

If you haven’t taken time out for yourself, then plan it now. Choose at least one of these and add it your daily routine, then gradually add another. It is important that you maintain a happy balance. Excuses are not going to benefit you. Stay committed to “you”. It’s not about being selfish, it’s about energizing yourself, stressing less and having more fun even if it’s for 15 minutes a day!

Technology – Curse or Cure

July 2nd, 2009

Are we in the midst of another industrial revolution? Like the first we seem to be going through rapid change, – the ipod, the laptop, broadband, mobile, skype, AIM and google earth to name just a few. Who could have even imagined these discoveries 50 years ago, let alone 30years? It’s the stuff of science-fiction where crazy ideas as predicted by HG Wells and the Asimov’s of this world, are now an everyday reality.

 

The question that comes to mind though is, whether this period of technological enlightenment and the advances that have being born because of it are a curse or a blessing? As we advance at lightening speed we are made to believe our lives will become easier, that more time will be made available, the working week become shorter, leisure time longer with deeper connections to friends and family. Is this our reality or is it just a myth?  And with all this supposed free time, what are we actually doing – spending it using these various technological devices.

 

Statistics show that stress levels are soaring in the workplace. Could this be because we are expected to do more in less time and with fewer resources…. with quicker turn a rounds, greater demand and less money and people to do the actual work? Our desire to be instantly gratified, to do it now and have it now is common place. As expectations soar we demand more. It is not unusual to expect immediate answers to email queries and responses via text 24/7. What happened to having the weekend to enjoy with family and friends, catch up on chores or run errands? The “now generation” are in full swing and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of let up – yet.

 

Think about it, how often have we gone on holiday with a blackberry, mobile phone or laptop? Is this not a contradiction in terms? A holiday while being connected to the office is no holiday at all or is this just an outdated old fashioned concept? Have we become “slaves to technology”, the very thing that was supposed to eventually free us,  allowing us les time to be with the ones we love, to do the things that matter?  

 

Ask now, how is this currently impacting our relationships? Are we spending more time connecting to virtual strangers than the ones we live with or are we re-connecting with long time friends or lovers? What ever happened to the concept of work-life balance?

 

The ability to disconnect, recharge and re-engage with loved ones and ourselves is important if we are to stay healthy, creative, motivated, and happy. How we each decide to achieve this is a personal choice. Step back and find the time to make the time because it can make all the difference. After all, life is too short to be spent glued to a technical device!

Twitter or Talk

June 29th, 2009

The recent emergence of Twitter has suddenly increased the ever growing popularity in social networking? Sites like Facebook, My Space, and online games are constantly gaining new members. Could it be that we are craving the basics like family and friendship. The village and community that we were once a part of have changed beyond recognition. The wider world has now become our neighbors with just the click of a button.

Speaking of Twitter – utterly inane or seriously brilliant? Ashton Kutcher made it his mission to beat Larry King on CNN to reach 1 million viewers in the popularity stakes and he did. The competition was fierce; was it a publicity stunt, a fad, an ego driven tactic, or merely a way of connecting to the world at large. During this race, even Oprah decided to join.

You may ask why anybody would be interested in following the “tweeting phenomenon”, or the vast number of “blogs”, some ludicrous, yet, the hundreds of millions of people who are participating on these social networks seem to be saying something different. What are the reasons? Could it be because we want desperately to be acknowledged; to let the world know we exist?

And even more ridiculous, why the desire to add numerous unknown acquaintances that we call “friends” to our personal network or to have them “follow” us because we have a random thought? Do we honestly care or is this more about an innate need to feel connected even if it’s with people we really don’t know and will never really know?

The virtual world has become more popular than the actual world we live in. What does thi say for our kids and teens who are learning that virtual is a new form of reality?

Is it safer to have an intimate relationship and connection with members of a group who we never meet to avoid being emotionally attached to any one person? Or is it the power to connect and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. What’s the underlying motivation?

After all is said and done, what happened to sitting down and having a face-to-face conversation with a real friend?