What really took me by surprise was the very big affect that removing chemical cleansers and household products had on my health and well being…..
Turn Off the Tech! Have you noticed how much of our lives we have given to the tech world?
The average American spends $2,300/year on technology. That’s $191.64/mo. If you are a family of four with teenagers, thats $766.68/mo or slightly less, but who’s counting? If that doesn’t tell the story, maybe nothing will.
It’s not just in dollars, but also in time. Count 116 minutes! That’s the number most American’s use per day on social media, according to SocialMediaToday.
In both time and money, we’ve quit living! I’m not suggesting that you shut off the devices forever, but the balance has definitely tipped. (Gosh, I once owned a healthcare tech company!)
Bottom line, technology is not the goal. It should not be our sole form of entertainment. Technology should be about convenience and efficiency. The goal is to create more time for healthy activities in our lives through technology.
Recently, I decided to change my life around. It wasn’t radical, but I decided to review how I was using my time and money.
I shut off the TVs on the weekends and canceled a few subscriptions. Wallah, spontaneity! I’ve found my life has become more interesting.
It made me want to ride my horse more. I want to take more walks, and my dog loves it! We loved it so much, I’ve decided to add to our family of fur-members. Friends hear from me to grab lunch. My evenings are spent socializing – business or pleasure – it doesn’t matter. I agreed to have our family reunion and then took a few trips.
Equally, I found there were technologies that I really enjoy. For example, Echo with Alexa by Amazon. I absolutely love streaming music. I’m enjoying going through my old CDs and compiling Playlists. I also enjoy MyFitnessPal. I’m finding that I need the encouragement to eat right every day.
So, what could you do with more time and money? Are you spending both the way you’d like?
For more great articles on the topic, read what kids of Silicon Valley tech parents do…
There was a favorite book that I’d read to my children, “Love You Forever”, by Robert N. Munsch. In it’s playful story of the lifecycle of mother and son, it is a reminder of the precious gift of the parent and child relationship.
“I love you forever…I love you for always…as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be…”
But, as the book points out, parenthood is stressful. Regardless of age and day activities, the world demands a lot from us.
We can’t eliminate the stress. We can’t hide from the world. The challenge is building a family environment…a family culture…ways and patterns for dealing with stress.
Remember the mantra encouraging “quality over quantity” in time with kids? But, sometimes quality can’t be achieved without quantity. Kids are not light switches, they don’t turn on and off on a schedule. In my endeavor to create “quality time” for my family, I tended to place an unreasonable expectation on all of us.
Then one day, I got over myself.
I knew that I entered every weekend tired and yearning for a little quiet time. My ears were over-stimulated, my mind was over-loaded and my nerves were on edge.
So, why wouldn’t I think my kids weren’t having the same issues entering the weekend?
Once I considered they were just mini-me’s, I focused less on what and more on how with my kids. It didn’t mean we became a picture perfect family, but it meant the bonds of our family strengthened.
The weekend is coming. Assess the calendar. What is the plan? How can you approach the activities with your kids – finding that balance in time and activities, talk more, do healthy and let down the protective force fields.
It’s less about the what and more about the how!
Like so many other people that I know, I seem to keep spreading myself too thin. I try to be everything to everyone.
I am very quick to help, in whatever way I can. “Yes, I will be there” are out of my mouth, before I can think it through.
Yet, when it comes to myself, I withhold. My mind firing, “it can wait”, ”I can go another day without it” or ”I simply don’t have the time or resources”.
Some time ago, I began to ask, why? Why do I give to others more than I will give to myself? Why do I always come last, in every list of To-Dos?
Here is what my meditation offered back. In order to give to others, I have to live with joy and balance within me. I must learn to give to others with the wisdom of being kind to me, too.
Here are 5 simple gifts for me…
The gift of exercise. It’s plain physics. A body in motion stays in motion. I don’t have to workout for two hours every day. But, if I can get a walk in, get outside for fresh air, a little bit of cardio and some stretches to get the kinks out, I will have more energy to give to others.
The gift of meditation. My quiet practice began with a timer set for five minutes. It took no time at all for this foundational practice to swell to at least an hour every day. I look forward to centering within myself, which allows me to offer freely to others.
The gift of pace. This was a tough one, but I have to manage my calendar. And, I find I need to step back and revisit this one throughout the year. Just because there is a line for every hour of the day in my appointment book, doesn’t mean that I have to fill it!
The gift of resources. Budget creep is a killer. Re-evaluating where I’m spending is important for me to be free to move each day, literally. I am convinced happiness is knowing the difference between my needs and my wants, and exercising each with wisdom.
The gift of positive thinking. This is a big one. Pay attention to who and what are the energetic vampires in life. In yoga, it’s called “checking the downward pull”. It can be watching too much negativity on television or spending too much time around negative people. I find the biggest downward pull though, is the voice in my own brain! To give energy to others, I must stop stealing from myself.
Giving to me means having enough to give to others.
People often ask themselves , “what can I do to keep my heart healthy everyday?” The obvious answers are exercising and eating healthy. While eating healthy is a big part of it, exercise is equally important. You don’t have to run out and buy a gym membership, especially if it’s not in your budget. There are cardio exercises that you can do in your own home for 20-30 minutes each day that will help you to stay active.
Walking is a great cardio workout! There are many benefits to walking around the block, around your neighborhood or if you’re lucky enough to have a path or trail nearby, even better! What if it’s cold outside and you can’t go out and walk? Walk around inside your house, up and down stairs or around the outer walls. There are many great floor exercises you can do that get your heart rate up, too. Consider yoga or other fitness exercises in your living room.
If that’s too confining, consider going to a shopping mall. As long as you are staying active, and getting that cardio time in each day, you will have more energy and will definitely feel better.