Happy New Year

A quicks reminder to everyone: Just because you are over it, doe snot mean the pandemic is over. Continue to stay aware.

That was public awareness message brought to you by Lifenotonthelist.com who wants everyone to thrive in 2021. On to today’s post.

Don’t Forget to Declutter Your Mind

One of the things you notice when you start decluttering is how so much of the clutter in your house reflects the clutter in your mind. If you’re hanging onto to clothes that don’t fit, or the ugly vase your mother gave you for Christmas or the exercise bike you might get around to using, you don’t just have a problem with too much stuff. You have a problem letting go. Chances are you’re also hanging onto a whole bunch of bad feelings, ill-founded assumptions, old grievances and future worries.

If it feels good to declutter your house, it feels even better to declutter your mind. Here are some useful expert tips to make some space in your mind.

  • Use some meditation techniques

You don’t have to do the full sitting on a cushion in a darkened room thing to benefit from meditation techniques. If you’re feeling overwound, some simple breathing techniques can help you calm down and focus. For a few minutes, focus only on your breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders or gets back into the worrying groove, you must put that aside and come back to focus on your breath.

  • Write it down
Another list I am not on.

It can help to write down anything that’s on your mind. Once all those worries are down on paper, you can prioritize them and work out a plan to deal with them. You can also assess them to identify what’s essential and what isn’t. When you can see what’s important, you can focus your energy and free up some of that mental space!

  • Stay in the present

Brooding over the past and worrying about the future take up a lot of space in your mind and achieve precisely nothing. Let go of regret over past mistakes or resentment of past slights and move on. Keep your focus on what you can influence right here, right now.

The present is a gift, use it well.

  • Do one thing at a time

Multitasking is not only overrated (it’s very inefficient), it also leads to greater anxiety, and you never do any one thing properly. Focus on doing things methodically and thoroughly. As you finish one task, move onto the next.

  • Control all the incoming data

We talk about being available 24/7 and the 24-hour news cycle, but there is only one person who can control that. You. You can choose to switch off your computer, smartphone, and tv and control the amount of data your brain is trying to process.

Decluttering your mind will pay off in all sorts of ways you hadn’t imagined. You will be more productive, less stressed and more motivated.

Managing Your Physical State

(Managing Your Physical Health In Times Of Crisis)

We already talked about managing your mental state in time of crisis. The year 2020 has been one constant state of crisis. Learn about managing your physical state in this article.

Taking care of your body is an essential part of caring for your overall well-being. In fact, physical health and mental health are closely related and tend to affect one another. Optimal physical health is difficult to achieve without mental health and vice versa. Physical health not only refers to exercise, it includes conscious choices that one can make to avoid diseases and live a balanced life. When times are hard, stress, anxiety and fear can weaken us physically and mentally. These lifestyle choices are important for managing your physical health, especially in times of crisis.

Staying physically active is a lifestyle choice that is beneficial in many ways. Not only does exercise make your body stronger, it can lower blood pressure, improve circulation and prevent osteoporosis. Ultimately, helping you live longer. As stated, physical activity can also lead to mental health improvements such as, energy and mood boosts, improvement in self image, better sleep and stress management. All of these benefits will aid in overall health. Making you more equipped to take on tension that tough times bring.

Eating right and staying hydrated will positively influence your physical health as well. Stay away from fast food and prepackaged and overly processed foods as much as possible. Rather, try to focus fresh food with an array of colors. Colorful fruits and vegetables offer the antioxidants needed to help your body fight against cancers, heart disease and hypertension. For example, leafy greens, berries, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli and cabbage. Eating a rainbow of foods will help your body stay physically strong and boost your immune system.

Drinking ample amounts of water will also help aid in weight management, kidney function and overall mood.

Finally, get a good night’s sleep. It’s recommended that adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Staying on a sleep schedule also helps. The body relies on sleep as a time to repair muscles and organs as well as to reset and file away memories. Being well rested will help with cognitive and immune system function.

It’s clear that managing physical health has many components and is closely related with mental health. Both are equally necessary for us to be in the best shape possible to take on life’s stressors. Whatever the crisis may be, if physical health is managed properly, we have a better chance of dealing with it and coming out of it in the best position possible.

How to Be Mindful During the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, and even more so when you are in charge of hosting a holiday party, having family stay with you, are experiencing financial restraints, have a lot of responsibilities, or are on dialysis.

This can all take away a lot of the joy of the holiday season, no matter which holiday your family celebrates. But with mindfulness, you can learn how to let the unnecessary stresses go, and live in the moment. It allows you to really appreciate every moment you are given throughout the holidays and finally enjoy yourself again.

What is Mindfulness?

It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t! Mindfulness is simply the act of focusing on the present moment you are in. You take out the judgment, regret, or guilt, and simply accept what is. The more you can be mindful during the holidays (and the rest of the year), the more grateful and stress-free you become.

1. Why Mindfulness During the Holidays Can Be Difficult

Mindfulness is a wonderful practice year-round, and is something everyone can benefit from no matter what they are dealing with. But during the holidays, there are even more ways it can help you.

Why the Holidays Are Such a Challenge

Why are holidays so stressful? It seems like it would be a joyous time to spend with your family, but the opposite is often true. You are trying so hard to make everything perfect and give your children memories they can cherish, that you lose yourself (and your sanity) along the way.

Understanding where the stress comes from helps you to know where to focus on improving your mindfulness this time of year.

There is a lot to do – And often with very little time. You still have your other responsibilities on top of the numerous things you have to juggle during the holidays.

Financial issues – Many people do feel the struggle of figuring out how to pay for decorations, gifts, parties, traveling, and other holiday expenses.

The expectations are different from reality – Even after you work hard to make everything perfect, it doesn’t always turn out how you planned. This is where mindfulness really comes in handy.

Ways Mindfulness Can Help You

Being more mindful during the holidays helps you with all of this and more. It allows you to stay present and put all of those expectations aside so you can just enjoy the moments you get with your family.

You learn to accept the moment – Every moment you live is a gift. Sure, it might not always be what you expect, but during the holidays, it isn’t about being perfect. It is about enjoying yourself, being with family and friends, and having more gratitude for what you have in your life.

Mindfulness helps you slow down – Taking a pause through mindfulness is one of the best things you can do to stay present during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Memories are treasured – If you constantly are just thinking about the next thing you need to do during the holidays, it will be hard to hold on to these memories. Do you want to remember the holidays as a time you spent with your loved ones, or when you were so busy you missed out?

2. How to Stay Present in the Middle of Chaos and Stress

It seems almost impossible, doesn’t it? Looking beyond everything you are dealing with this holiday season, learning to let go, and take the stress away. To be present in every moment. But with just a few simple techniques and mindset shifts, you can be more mindful during the holidays.

Practice Beforehand

If you have a little time before the holidays begin, it is a great time to start practicing your mindfulness habits. This doesn’t require anything more than just sitting quietly and focusing on whatever you are doing at that time. It might mean being quiet during a meal, sitting in your bedroom at night and pondering how you feel at that time, or being mindful while taking a walk.

Release Judgment

A very big part of mindfulness is letting go of judgment and guilt. This is not just releasing judgment on others, but yourself, and the situations you find yourself in during the holiday season. Stop worrying about how you look, if the food is good enough, if the venue is perfect, what others are experiencing. These thought patterns are negative and going to make it very difficult to be mindful and appreciate the present moment.

Have Mindful Meals

Mindfulness can work during any event or experience you have during the holidays, but a great time to practice it is while having meals with others. It can be your family holiday meal, at a party, or just at home to de-stress.

During your meals, shut off all distractions. This means no phone, no TV, and no music. Sit quietly and think about how you feel right then, during your meal. Focus on the flavors, the colors, the textures of what you are eating. Consider how you are feeling.

Eat without judgment, guilt, or any other emotions that doesn’t add to the satisfaction of that meal.

Take a Pause

Being mindful is nothing more than taking a pause. It is so easy to get wrapped up in what you should have done, what you still have to do, what is or isn’t perfect during the holidays. When you find your mind wandering instead of enjoying time with family or friends, just take a pause. Sit for a few minutes alone in the quiet and bring yourself back to this moment.

Focus on the Moment, Not the Big Picture

Lastly, remember to focus on the present, not the big picture. It isn’t about having the perfect Christmas memory, but each little thing that made your Christmas memorable.

3. Using Mindfulness After the Holidays are Over

Once you have mastered being mindful during the stressful holiday season, it will become even easier to use it during the rest of the year. Starting with the new year! Here are some ways to keep being mindful after the holidays and into the new year.

Using Mindfulness for Your Resolutions

Before the new year begins, you will probably choose some resolutions. These are goals you want to focus on in the year ahead. It is a wonderful time to feel like you get a fresh start, a new beginning. But it is also really important that you understand what you really want, and what your passions are, not just what you think is expected for you.

This is where mindfulness is going to be really useful.

Think of the moment right now – What are you thinking about the most in this moment? What is bringing you joy? What is stressing you out? Being mindful NOW is what can help you figure out what resolutions will help you in the future.

Keep being non-judgmental and non-critical – Mindfulness takes a lot of the judgment and critical thinking about yourself, your past, and your choices out, reducing your stress and just allowing you to make mistakes without regret. Keep doing this and you think of goals for the year and try to remember what makes you happy, not what you feel you need to do to “make up” for mistakes of the past.

Being Mindful Year-Round

After the holidays are over and the year has begun, keep taking pauses, enjoying your moments, expressing gratitude, and just enjoying your life. The more you can be mindful during each of those moments in your life, the happier you will be.

A Hygge Holiday Is All About Peaceful, Quiet And Cozy Surroundings

Hygge, pronounced (Hue-gah) is a Danish word originally derived from an Old Norwegian word meaning well-being and protection from the outside elements. Denmark has notoriously cold, long winters. The concept of hygge has been used by Danish people to help mentally combat the brutally dark, relentless winter season and fill their homes with comfort and love. Hygge is a word that is so important to Danish people; it’s often used to describe what their culture is all about. Hygge is not necessarily something specific that you can buy, because it’s more of a feeling than a possession. Hygge really is the epitome of Danish living, and in the last five years the concept of hygge has made its way to the US and many other countries with extreme popularity and trendiness.

Hygge can widely be described as a feeling of coziness, comfort, familiarity, friendship, laughter and seasonal homemade food and drinks. Although it’s possible to achieve hygge any time of the year (an outdoor BBQ with friends or a movie under the stars with family are perfectly good examples of summertime hygge). Hygge is generally associated with the colder months because if it’s ability to uplift spirits during dark, long winter months. Hygge is perfect for the upcoming holiday season because it’s all about peaceful, cozy surroundings that fill you with the feeling of contentment. Here are a few, simple ways you can bring holiday hygge into your home this season.

Remember this year (2020) to do social distancing, contact family by computer or phone, and social distancing.

Host family and friends – The holidays bring so many opportunities to host get-togethers for your loved ones. Be sure not to stress over these gatherings, hygge parties are relaxed, friendly and homey.

Light up your holidays

Warm lighting – in order to achieve a great sense of hygge, be sure to light some candles, have a fire or set up string lights. Warm lightning is essential for a holiday hygge vibe.

Warm blankets add a nice touch

Cozy linens, blankets and textures – get out all of those soft, fluffy blankets and have them available on the couch or chairs and by the windows, so that you can easily cuddle up with your favorite book and relax.

Christmas Cookies

Home cooking and baking – cooking some traditional holiday meals and treats will help bring holiday hygge into your home. Comfort foods like holiday ham, stews, savory flatbreads, cookies, cinnamon apple pie will waft soul-warming scents throughout the air, making your home feel cozy and cared for.

Holiday hygge is easy and comforting. Most people are already doing at least some of these simple holidays hygge hacks without even knowing it. Now that you know the term for that warm and fuzzy feeling, you will be able to up your holiday hygge game even further.

Managing Your Mental State

(When Times Are Tough) or (Through Adversity)

Managing your mental state is an ongoing and complex job. There are so many things that can negatively affect us daily. Ranging from small inconveniences to larger, more involved problems. Our state of mind is a compilation of our past, present and future thoughts and feelings. When times are tough, whatever the reasons may be, managing your mental state is more important than ever.

Self awareness is first when it comes to managing mental state. When you understand how you feel, where those feelings are coming from and why you have those particular feelings, then can you begin to manage your mental state. This is much easier said than done for most people and that’s perfectly normal. A counselor or psychologist may be able to help you understand your feelings more in depth. Talking with someone objective to help put your feelings in perspective is extremely beneficial as well. Once you identify why you feel a certain way, you can begin to understand your feelings and manage them in a positive way.

Mindfully breathing is a powerful calming tool.  Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth will slow heart rate and curb anxiousness. Moreover, meditation will aid in clarity of mind. Fifteen minutes per day to sit in silence and clear your head does wonders for your mental state. Positive affirmations also enhance one’s state of mind. Positive affirmations are positive phrases you repeat to yourself daily. Try talking to yourself in the mirror in the morning. Tell yourself things like, “I am confident.” or “I am relaxed and at peace.” These positive affirmations will sink into your subconscious mind. Over time, you will start to believe the positive statements you have repeated to yourself. You can change your cognitive patterns away from negative thinking.

Don’t give in to the quick fix of self medication. Using alcohol or drugs is not uncommon when people want to make themselves feel better. But when faced with adversity, adding mind altering substances will enhance negative feelings. Stay sharp and in tune with yourself. So that you are able to be positive and consciously manage your feelings.

Staying on top of your mental health is not an easy task. When faced with challenges throughout life, remember there are tools that can be utilized. Actively managing your mental state will result in a more self aware, calm and happier you.

Where to Get Your Coloring Pages

If adult coloring seems somewhat juvenile to you, then you’re missing the value in this wonderful hobby and artistic endeavor. It’s fun to do, allows you to be creative and to relax. Here are some ideas for getting coloring pages if you don’t want to use an adult coloring book.

Crayola Takes on Higher Learning

There is science behind coloring for adults, and even the famous Crayola brand is excited about the social trend. Last summer, the crayon brand introduced special markers, colored pencils and their own label of Coloring Escapes for grown-ups. Department stores like Kohl’s and Target both sell the coloring pages in sets.

For example, you receive a boxed kit that contains 25 sheets of detailed line art on heavy-weight paper stock with 40 fine line markers in a gorgeous vibrant palette. The kit features an array of nature, patterns, mandalas and geometric designs to enhance.

Adult Coloring Is Really Brain Power

Crayola gets it and has understood the benefits of coloring for decades. The research agrees. News network CNN explored the new trend and reported that adult coloring provides excellent therapy that is as good as meditating and shutting the brain down. It’s a calming exercise that can reduce anxiety, stress, create focus and allow for self-expression.

Coloring for adults is different from plain old doodling, and the science shows that doodling did not bring tranquility to a situation. Coloring in a book, however, does offer serenity and brain restoration and mental benefits.

Adult Coloring Pages Are Plentiful

Adult coloring has exploded onto the scene, and you can find these de-stressing pages mainly online for free to download. There is an abundance to choose from. Online art stores like Fabercastell.com offer a large selection for finding the ideal coloring pages. For example, adults can focus on coloring fairies, intricate Mehndi patterns, peacock designs, fashion illustrations, flowers and nature.

The subject matter of coloring pages for adults is almost infinite. To look up anything on line to color write in the topic followed by the words coloring pages. Remember not all pages are free to copy, so you may spend some time looking.

https://www.justcolor.net/

https://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/adult-coloring-pages/

https://www.art-is-fun.com/free-adult-coloring-pages

Sexy, Naughty Coloring Is Mature

Social media sites like Pinterest.com offer another look at the adult trend and offer free coloring pages for a mature audience. Yes, there are swear word coloring books that have become insanely popular. Humor is always welcome, and these clever pages are filled with elegantly written profanity that is accompanied by some fabulous, detailed artwork.

Many find these bad word pages a joy to fill in, express what you might be thinking, relax and have a hearty laugh. Folks who like these coloring pages often buy the coloring books to give in swag bags, as gift swaps, at birthdays and more.

Coloring books have even appeared at the 99 cent stores in the book section. It does not cost a lot to get started coloring. Relax your mind and destress with a crayon in hand.

What to Use for Adult Coloring

As a child, coloring was just a fun learning activity. Adults have come to realize that coloring has many soothing benefits in a world full of stresses. Relaxing with a coloring book is simple. Grab a child’s coloring book from the dollar store, open a fresh box of crayons and begin. If you want a more adult feeling when you color, here are some suggestions that may help:

Coloring Page Choices

You don’t have to settle for a juvenile coloring book. Today there are fantastic adult coloring books with geometric patterns, beautiful pictures and intricate designs. Choose a wonderful geometric design and color each repeating block a different color. Decide to create repeating color schemes (squares are blue, circles are orange) or do a picture in all pastel colors. The choice is completely up to you – whatever makes you happy. That is the wonderful thing about coloring.

What Will You Use?

Today, adults who enjoy coloring are not limited to a box of waxy crayons (they are great, though!) to color their landscapes and Greek goddesses. Select a box of pre-sharpened colored pencils for a more mature coloring experience. There are plenty of other options, too. Opt for pens in a kaleidoscope of colors; decide that chalk or oil pastels are what your artwork needs. The only limit of your mediums is your mind. You can choose to mix-and-match your coloring choices for different textures and color depths.

Picture Pages

You are not limited to coloring books for your pleasure, either. Try some posters that come with markers for your coloring fun. Superheroes, princesses, kittens – the list is almost endless. Just pick a picture that makes you smile. You could pick up a tiny picture to color or a full poster-sized image. Print them off from your home printer. It’s easy to find wonderful subject matter online.

Relax Like an Adult

The key to coloring fun is to have fun. Relax. Stretch out on your bean bag or a rug in front of the fireplace. Pour a glass of wine. Put on some music that makes you mellow (maybe some Kenny G?) and grab your crayons. Block out the rest of the world, the ringing phone, the pressing matters at work. This is your time. Make light strokes or press down on the crayons for heavy, thick color. Remember- this is your time. This is your art. This is your relaxation. Have it your way.

What is Mindful Coloring?

Mindful coloring is a very simple concept. It is the art of coloring while practicing mindfulness. Being mindful is all about being in the moment and being engaged and involved in what’s going on around you. The art of mindfulness is lost on so many these days. The presence of cell phones and instant access to the lives of millions of people across the world is so tempting. Many people miss out on the basic pleasures and the simple little things in life because they are so focused on doing more than one thing at a time they have no idea how to be mindful. Adult coloring is here to change that.

Coloring can increase your mindfulness.

How is Coloring Mindful?

Mindful coloring is simple. You are busy coloring, which means you’re busy doing one thing. You can’t color and carry on a conversation with the kids. You can’t color and watch a television show or cook dinner. You can focus on one thing, and you then clear your mind of everything as you choose colors, work to stay within the lines, and you focus on what you’re doing.

Focus on one thing at a time.

Mindful Coloring is A Teaching Tool

This is the type of teaching tool you use to help you create better habits. Mindful coloring allows you to learn to clear your mind and focus on the task at hand. The task here is the page you are coloring, but it transcends into other areas of your life as well. When you learn to be mindful while coloring, you’re learning the tools to practice mindfulness in other areas of your life.

Use the colors to relax into your coloring pages.

Mindful Coloring is Relaxing

One of the biggest benefits of mindful coloring is the way it relaxes you. You’re no longer focused on all the things that overwhelm you and make you feel down or stressed. You’re focused on something so simple and so easy, and you are really focused on it. You don’t have to sit back and think about it further. You are now engaged in something that doesn’t bring you stress or anxiety, and it relaxes you. Many people use this tool when they feel angry or upset as a way of calming down and focusing.

Coloring is beneficial to anyone, even if you are a little worried you seem childish. This thought process is not uncommon, but it’s one that’s quickly changed once you realize just how beneficial it is and how it’s not childish at all. If you begin to practice mindful coloring, it won’t take you long at all to realize it’s beneficial to you in more ways than one. It can help you change your life for the better over time.

A coloring page for you to print and color