Me Time

I need some me time
Not some you and some I
Just some me time, oh
I need some she time
– Heather Headley, Me Time

What does “me time” mean to you?

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Anything bringing you an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy is “Me Time”. Me Time does not have to be at a set time, set activity, or by yourself. Me Time can be different everytime or the same everytime and a bit of both everytime. I like Me Time to be Quiet Time, also. This energizes me and helps me be a better person for those I love and make time for daily.

Beginning this week, I am taking the time to wake up 30 minutes earlier to think about my day, brew a cup of black tea, with milk and sugar, journal and reflect on gratitutde and thankfulness, and begin a positive spin on my day. I will plan my day, then I will finally end my morning ritual with what I covered in my post about positive reflections and affirmations.

What is it that you’ll be doing?

Savoring

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.47.54 AM In July, I posted a Bliss App review of an exercise called “Savoring.” Since I started the Bliss App in June, I have not been consistent. The exercises that repeat, I tend to put off, thinking, “this exercise, again?” However,  I have noticed a change in my morale when I am not reminding myself of all the great things going on in my life. It takes a toll on my spirit. So, I have a goal to complete a Bliss App exercise at least once a week and do more if I can. No pressure.

I have also intended on spending mornings as “me time.” This means sketching out or writing out my personal attainable goals and start with areas of fitness and health, family, and career.  I found starting with me allows me to center myself to be the best for my husband, my family, and my career path. Although I take joy in putting others first, sometimes this burns me out, so focusing on what I need to handle reminds me I have given me some time out of my busy day of giving me to others.

The savoring exercise entry I reviewed in July was different from today’s savoring exercise. I am in a different place in my life and it shows. It isn’t necessarily a bad place, but it isn’t sun-shiney positive, either. I am my own worst critic, so the savoring exercise today helped me realize that there is joy, even in drinking tea. It reminded me every moment can be savored, even in mundane chores and activities.

Have you started a gratitute journal? If an app isn’t for you, here is a free print out to get you started.

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Stuck in Mud

SO BRIGHTIf you substitute your own word for “mud,” what would it be? “Sunshine,” “flowers,” “cupcakes,” “rainbows,” “sprinkles,” “polka dots”? It depends if your cup is half full or half empty at the moment, right? Well, if you’re stuck in a rut for a hot second, there are a few ways you can free yourself.

I thought of at least 3 ways you can cultivate your gratitute today; I know. Optimistic. Give it a try, at least two, and call me in the morning.

1. Really sound happy to hear from someone when that person in your life calls you on the phone. Let’s be you when you’re happy. How do you think you sound? You don’t need to be not you because everyone takes a different spin on being happy, but give this a whirl: try to smile while you’re talking to that person. Do you feel a difference?

2. When you think something negative about a person, switch it to something positive. Example: Andrew has really bad breath this morning. He always has onion breath…BUT he is super funny, almost always. I’m glad I work with him or my work days would stink…

3. When you’re in the dumps, think, “What am I learning from this? How am I growing from this?”

I think it will take a while to get used to thinking this way,  but it is a way of training yourself. Soon enough, there will butterflies in the sky and your friends will be squiting, covering their eyes, or need their sunglasses because you’re so bright! Bright in your own way, of course!

Gratitude Journal Free Printable

Thankful Thursdays

Welcome to #thankfulthursdays! Last week I shared the Bliss App and a few times, shared some exercises. Today, I am thinking of those who want to write out what they’re thankful for and not use technology. You can access a gratitude journal free printable that I made just for you. It is a five day entry sheet, Monday through Friday. If you want to, you can even use it with the Bliss App; write in your answers to the exercises on the gratitude journal sheet. Of course, you can always do your own thing! Let me know how your gratitude journaling is coming along.

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 5.27.25 PMI am still using the Bliss App. For a free app and Chrome Extension, it’s a great way to catalogue what you’re thankful for.

Today’s exercise was to honor people. I thought of everyone who I am thankful for and a new friend came to my mind. Then, a Girl Scout song reminded me: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”

I think this is a great exercise because it helps keep in mind who are those who support you and how these significant people keep you grounded. There are many things to be thankful in life for and I think people are the most significant in my life.

The following is my entry:

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This was a pretty cool feature of the Bliss App:

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Who are you thankful for and why? Would you tell that person today?

Thankful Thursday: Sending a Thanks

When was the last time someone did something extremely nice for you and you thought, “That was really nice!”?

I have been one to let time pass before I acknowledge the act of good deed. I sat today to think what happens when that kind gesture from a friend goes unnoticed. A few things come to my mind. If the tables turned, I would shrug it off and say, “No big deal. I did XYZ because I wanted to.” However, it’s a few times I’ve made a kind gesture and have received nothing in return, it may be time that I think, “A thank you would be nice. Maybe I won’t go out of my way ever again.” Uh oh.

Of course, it depends on the deed and it depends on the timing. Everyone is different and every deed is different. This does not mean you should rack your brain everytime someone does something nice for you. However, keep in mind that saying “thank you,” although this is a small gesture, it is free to say and it does not take a lot of energy. Further, it develops a relationship no matter what stage the friendship is in, and it tells the person that you welcome the same if not, similar deed, the next time. It positively reinforces the behavior.

The best way to say “thank you” is in person. The second best way to say “thank you” is in writing. There are many forms of writing in the modern world, including by e-mail and text messaging, regardless of whether it’s GChat or on Whatsapp.

Daniel Post Senning from the Emily Post Institute explains, “Good manners are about more than fulfilling bare-minimum social obligations. They are an opportunity for us to connect to the people in our lives in a meaninful way. In an increasingly informal digital world, continuing to pull out pen and paper is a way to distinguish yourself. The handwritten thank-you note speaks volumes simply as a medium and sends the message that you care enough to invest yourself personally in acknowledging another.”

I saved the last card my best friends sent me. Both of them sit on my desk. I live miles away from them, but the cards remind me how far our friendship has come and much of it is because we always say thank you.

Thankful Thursdays: Bliss App Exercises

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I had a really hard time with some of these exercises. Brain-stumped! Some of these exercises, I knew off the cuff because I usually wear my heart on my sleeve (Yes! Pun, intended!), which includes this exercise:

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This exercise reminded me that I should tuck my optimism cards in all my pockets so I can pull them out in years to come: image

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This was a brain-stumper! Really, could be worse? Sounds so pessimistic, or as some friends would say, “realistic.” It turns out that this exercise had a cheerful twist – it’s bittersweet to take this perspective because the exercise mandates the gratitude journalist to take a sunshiney point-of-view (Yes, “sunshiney” is a Gina-ism):image


I really like this app mainly because it reminds me every now and then (NOT everyday) to complete an excercise. One time I dismissed the notification because it came at an awkward moment. I could not drop what I was doing to get to it. When I dismissed the notification, I was prompted to complete the exercise two days later. That was kind of cool. So how is this coming along in helping me keep positive? Well, Tuesday night, I had a dream that someone significant in my life, who has now passed, told her drycleaner, who told my Mom, who is a drycleaner, with whom I was a backseat passenger in a car (so I overheard), that I’m a complainer! WOW (Quite long-winded, confusing, and sounds like hearsay to me, too). I believe the exercises are tapping into my subconscious and making me realize that I should be more thankful than pissy. Maybe.

Would you journal in an app, like the Bliss app, or journal your gratitude on paper?


The Developer of the Bliss App wrote back to me about synchronizing the App and Chrome Extension, which are in beta:

Hi, Thanks for the write up!

The Syncing functionality is still in beta – it works but you may have to close / reload the android app if exercises don’t show up.

Here’s a link to our website:

http://bliss31.com

and android app:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bliss.phonegap

Let me know if you have any other questions / requests

-John

Thankful Thursdays: Apps and Journals

I am thankful for my pups, friends, and family.

I spoke to my friend Christina (subscribe to http://www.adventures-in-polishland.com) some time ago and she shared that she’s keeping a gratitude journal. I am all about keeping positivity in my life because I feel like law school has siphoned most of my happiness out of me. I thought I’d look into creating a gratitude journal. I like paper, but I love technology, so I checked out a few apps available on Android and Apple iTunes. I chose two apps. One app for my Android SmartPhone and another app for my ancient iPad. I downloaded Bliss (Android App) and HappyFeed (iTunes) because they’re free and private.

Bliss Gratitude Journal / Trainer (Android)TT2

Bliss Gratitude Journal/Trainer (The Bliss App) is an Android App (Google Play>Search: “Bliss Gratitude Journal”) and Chrome Extension. The Bliss App is in Beta. I am not sure if the two sychronize, but I messaged the developer to find out. More on this later! The Bliss App has eight exercises and can be disabled and scheduled based on when it’s convenient for you. This allows you to form a positive habit of reminding yourself the positives in your life. The app notifies you to continue logging your entries. The exercises are based on psychologist developed exercises proven to increase endorphins and other “desirable mental traits.” I really like this app compared to HappyFeed because there is more to the journal. For example, my first journal entry was “I am thankful for my pups, friends, and family.” The app entry urged me to add why I am thankful. I added “…because they keep me grounded and are a tremedous source of support.” That completed the circle for me. I am hooked. However, I also thought, this might be a lot of work, so I looked into HappyFeed. If you’re looking for a simple, “Yay! I’m happy and thankful for ______,” check out HappyFeed.

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HappyFeed is available on iTunes for the iPhone. You can enlarge it to fit onto your iPad, if you have one. HappyFeed is simple. If you like simple, this is for you. Three times a day, you make your entries, couple these moments with visual reminders, and you’ve got your gratitude journal. You don’t have to add “why” you’re thankful. When I joined HappyFeed, I received a joyful email message from the developer: “Welcome to HappyFeed – a private, mobile journal for recording your happiest moments each day. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude in this way can make you a happier person. The more often you use the app, the happier you’ll be. On top of that, you’ll be creating a place for all of the great things in your life. It’s like a wall of pure happiness.” HappyFeed.co

I’m going to try out both and report back how I feel and how the entries are coming along on Thankful Thursdays.

How do you prefer to keep your gratitude journal?