Monthly Archives: February 2018

Avoid the Flu: Tips for Staying Healthy

 

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It seems like every time I turn on the news lately, someone is reporting on the particularly aggressive flu season in our midst. If you’re like me, you probably can’t afford to get sick as a dog and miss days of work. Here are some tips for staying flu-free:

Sanitize your environment. Whether you are on a plane or at your desk, be sure to clean off anything you will be touching with antibacterial wipes. Remember: your technological devices are breeding grounds for bacteria.

Sanitize your hands. Because it is difficult to avoid physical contact and touching germy surfaces at all times, be sure that you always have hand sanitizer at the ready.

Keep your distance. When working in an office environment, spending time with friends, or walking down the street, you are at risk of getting sick from someone around you. For this reason, keep hand shaking and drink sharing to a minimum.

Treat your body well. When you are sleep deprived, worn out, or generally unhealthy, you are at greater risk of catching something. Be sure that during this flu season you get exercise, eat well, and plenty of sleep to ward off illness.

Hope you all stay well in this sickly season!

Going Grayscale: Cutting the Cord on Phone Addiction

Like most, I must admit that I am on my phone(s) too much. I’m one of those people that is the first on their cellphone when I step into an elevator or am waiting in line for lunch. My phone is chalked full of videos of my dog, texts from friends, and constantly buzzing emails and calendar events.

Hence my New Year’s Resolution: to cut the cord. I didn’t want to continue to fill my empty moments with more screen time, but it was going to be hard to stop when pulling out my phone had become a practically programmed response.

It was then that I discovered “going grayscale.”

Grayscale is a mode on most smartphones that turns everything on your screen black, white and gray. This may seem like a little thing, but altering your phone from being an interface full of vibrant colors to one duller than everything in your surroundings takes away a lot of the temptation to flip to an app in a free moment.

I decided to try it out, and it worked. No longer as drawn to photos, apps, and other mobile distractions in their new state, I found myself much more present in interactions with strangers and aware of little things I was missing in my surroundings like a cute dog walking by or a lucky penny on the street. My phone is still a necessary part of coordinating my work and private life, but now, it is no longer the go-to use of my free time.

So if you are thinking you might like to try some separation from your cell phone, try switching to grayscale. Making your phone look as boring as the time you waste on it is makes it much easier to pass up.

Making Time for Yourself

 

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Between work, friends, and family, finding a minute alone can seem impossible. This is especially in big cities, where I find much of my time is walking through crowded sidewalks or packed into a subway with strangers.

 Taking time for yourself, while difficult to arrange, is also incredibly important. Meditating, walking around a park, or just reading in my home grounds me and prepares me for the week ahead, no matter the task. Time spent clearing your head between endless meetings and luncheons isn’t a waste; it’s recharging so you can best face whatever comes next in your day with energy and focus you otherwise might not have had.

 The biggest questions you should ask yourself when trying to carve out this time alone can be boiled down to three basics: When am I free? What form of relaxation do I have time for? What am I really needing right now?

 If you only have 20 minutes before your next meeting, maybe the best thing is to plug in some ear buds and do a guided meditation on a park bench. There are plenty of great meditation apps to choose from, like Headspace. Maybe you have three hours, and therefore have time to throw on workout clothes and head to the gym for some much-needed cardio. Or maybe what you are really craving is down time, in which case a nap may be the perfect move. Even if you just have a few minutes before your next event, try sitting somewhere comfortable and closing your eyes, enjoying a few deep breaths.

 No matter how you spend it or how long you have to enjoy it, I guarantee that making some me-time in your day is worth the effort.