motivated

Love Is In The Air

Love is in the Air By: Jen Champion

February is the season of romance, especially with Valentine’s Day on the 14th. 

It’s a sweet celebration of love that gives us a little break from the darker days during the winter months.

This holiday offers us an opportunity to show our loved ones how much we appreciate them. We can foster our connections and strengthen our relationships by expressing this love to our family, friends, and community. 

Before exploring this idea of celebrating love, let us revisit the folklore around Valentine’s Day. 

Legend has it that St. Valentine was a Roman Christian priest who performed marriages of young lovers to keep the men from being sent off to war. 

When political authorities discovered that St. Valentine was doing this, he was imprisoned and martyred. Stories say he met the jailor’s daughter and fell in love with her. Then before his execution on February 14, 1269, he gave her a letter signed, “Your Valentine.” 

Even after all years, this salutation lives on today. 

We celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving our loved ones notes, flowers, and other gifts to remind them we care. Even exchanging dark chocolate is a traditional and contemporary gift good for health!

But our gifts can also go beyond material items. 

Respect is also a gift to be fostered and shared. Having respect for others and for ourselves can lead us on the path of inner satisfaction and unconditional love.

When we respect ourselves, we can communicate and connect in kinder ways. 

These qualities are gifts we can share with our companions and they contribute to the philosophy of “love thy neighbor.”

A hug is another gift that can be shared. By wrapping our arms around someone and holding them close, we can show them how much they mean to us.

This sincere gesture is good for our health as well. Science reveals that hugs lower stress hormones and blood pressure. 

A hug held for 20 seconds releases oxytocin, a hormone referred to by scientists as the “cuddle hormone.” And a self-hug offers the same benefits while giving a nice stretch to the shoulders and upper back.

This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to cherish yourself and others. 

Thich Nhat Hanh expressed this beautifully when he said, “The teachings on love given by the Buddha are clear, scientific, and applicable… Love, compassion, joy, and equanimity are the very nature of an enlightened person. They are the four aspects of true love within ourselves and within everyone and everything.”

We can begin to lead with respect and love everywhere we go. It is vital to our overall well-being to live in a society that uplifts one another. 

Want to incorporate more love into your everyday life? 

Practice caring for yourself and loved ones: Cultivate self-awareness and appreciation by supporting others. This may be done through massage, therapeutic touch, pressure point therapy, mudras, positive affirmations, poems, music, and meditation.

Get comfortable with empathy: Relate to others by holding onto compassion during differences of opinion.

Listen to yourself to receive heartfelt affirmations: Affirmations are a positive forward-directed truth that we can connect with deeply. Create a paper heart of any style and write the affirmation on it. From here, we can write it repeatedly or create a tally to keep track every time we re-embrace these affirmations.

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Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

A change in mindset can transform a negative feeling into a positive one. Every cloud has a silver lining. 

Question Your Thoughts

You have the power to control your thoughts. Every single negative thought can be changed into a positive one.

It does take practice and consistency, but it can be done. 

The next time you notice a negative thought sneaking up on you, stop what you’re doing and take some time to question it.

Why do you think that thought entered your mind in the first place? Did something happen in the past that made you cautious? Or are you experiencing a bad gut feeling?

Just because you think something doesn’t make it true – even if it feels that way right now.

Challenging your thoughts can help you look at events from several different points of view. 

Will This Matter One Month From Now?

Remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Just because you can’t see it right now doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 

When something is bothering you, an excellent question to ask yourself is…

“Will this matter a month from now?”

Bringing a little bit of the future into the present can help remind you that even though you may be feeling bad right now, the feeling will pass. 

Practice Positive Thinking

None of us are perfect, and significant lifestyle changes won’t happen overnight. But if you put the work in, anything is possible.

Every small step is one step in the right direction.

Looking at one situation/event a day through a different lens is an amazing place to start.

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4 Ways To Manage Work Related Stress

Even when you love what you do, occasional work-related stress is unavoidable.

Not all stressful events can be prevented, but there are plenty of steps you can take to keep them at bay. 

Start Your Day Right

It all starts in the morning…

As tempting as it may be to hide under those covers for just 5 more minutes, 5 minutes can easily turn into 20…

And before you know, you are late for work. 

Chances are you don’t want to jump into your workday feeling stressed/rushed due to sleeping in.

You’d want to start the day feeling relaxed and well-rested. 

Almost all tasks feel much harder when time is of the essence. 

Opening up your email and getting your list in order just ten minutes earlier than you usually do can help you feel ahead of the game and give you some extra confidence. 

Stay Organized

Have you ever had one of those days where you were supposed to email something over to a co-worker but completely forgot until they sent a friendly reminder?

You quickly open up your desktop but can’t find the document anywhere. At that point, you can’t even remember if you saved the document. 

That’s when the nerves start to kick in. Not such a fun feeling.

We’ve all been there or in a similar situation at least once.

We’re human, and it happens.

However, staying organized and ahead of the game can help prevent stressful events like that from happening.

“Plan ahead when you know a situation will arise that causes you stress. Recognize the triggers and have.” – Cathi Spence

Reflect/Prepare

None of us are good at everything. None of us are fearless. We all have things we wish we could improve upon.

Sometimes those fears or uncertainties can show up at work and cause a great deal of stress.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a fear of public speaking (which is very common) and your boss asks you to lead next week’s virtual conference.

Even though you are proud to have been considered, that doesn’t make you any less afraid.

You have two choices. You can either spend the rest of the week feeling anxious and stressed.

Or you can prepare yourself to the best of your abilities and remind yourself that everything will be just fine. It all comes down to the stories we tell ourselves. 

Forgive Yourself

None of us are perfect. We’ve all sent emails with typos, and we’ve all misunderstood an assignment at least once.

When we make a mistake at work, generally the first thing we do out of habit is apologize. 

However, at times we can forget one very important step.

We can forget to forgive ourselves, look for the lesson and move on.

In business and in life you never fail. You either live or you learn.

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Are You Constantly Tired Throughout The Day?

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Feeling tired once in a while is one thing, but feeling tired every day is something else.

There are plenty of habits out there that can give you a much needed energy boost.

Pay Attention to Your Sleep

Most of us understand the effects of not getting enough sleep.

But did you know that getting too much sleep isn’t good for you either?

Sleep is so essential for our overall physical and mental health.

You know yourself best, but 7 – 8 hours are recommended for most adults.

Get Off The Couch

Isn’t it interesting how laying down can make you more tired?

Staying active and moving your body is what gives you energy.

And no…you don’t need to do an intense workout. Walking around the block is a great place to start.

Have Fun

There’s no such thing as too much laughter – it is free after all.

We all have that one friend who always makes us laugh and try new things.

The next time you’re feeling a little tired or run down, go ahead and give them a call.

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Stuck in a Rut? Here’s What to do

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Have you ever had one of those days or weeks where you don’t feel like yourself? If so, here’s what to do!

Take Care of Yourself

It’s so important to evaluate what your body needs.

Are you feeling overtired? Go to bed early tonight.

Been eating takeout every night this week? Prepare a home cooked meal.

Feel overworked? Take the night off and go out with friends!

Your body is always telling you things. It’s just a matter of actually listening.

Amp Up Your Routine

Of course, habit and structure are important – but it’s fun and healthy to mix it up from time to time.

Feel like your routine is great to the way it is?

Remember – no one said these changes have to be drastic.

Taking a different route to work or visiting a new coffee shop can make a huge difference.

Say Goodbye to Perfectionism

Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try, you still aren’t good enough? It’s definitely not a fun feeling.

When you’re constantly unhappy with your performance, it’s hard to say motivated.

Embrace your fears. Learn from your mistakes. Be proud of yourself.

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