Posts Tagged ‘Devine Caroline’

By: Diana

Moving on after a breakup is difficult. It’s never easy, unless you wanted to willingly move on. Few things are harder in life than breaking up with someone you really love. It can disrupt your whole life. Everything you do and see seems to remind you of your ex. If you had many mutual friends, even going out can be difficult.

One of the biggest blessings and challenges you have to face when you’re ready to move on is your family and friends. Sometimes your moving on after a breakup may be difficult for your family to deal with. If your ex was popular with your family, you’re going to be questioned over and over again about the situation. Explain to them up front that you’re moving on after a breakup and would appreciate it if they gave you space and time and do not remind you of your ex.

If you didn’t have many mutual friends, it should be less of a problem. But, if the two of you often hung out with the same group of people, you might even run into each other as you each attempt to hang out with your mutual friends.

This doesn’t mean you should cut out your friends. It just simply means it may take more effort to hang out with some of the people in the group. Try to maintain good contact and relationships with those you’re closest to and allow your ex to do the same with the others. While this can be painful, it’s probably easiest on everyone because they don’t have to choose which of you to be loyal to and which to avoid.

Sometimes moving on after a breakup is too difficult when you’re surrounded by mutual friends and so many places to go together. If possible, go on a vacation to get away from the same scenery and people. Take a vacation with a friend who isn’t involved in the situation or maybe a friend of yours who wasn’t friends with your ex. A trip and some time will help you gain perspective that there are many other people out there.

First published June 2009

Read more: http://www.divinecaroline.com/79972/77284-moving-breakup#ixzz1CUUCevzM

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By: Francis McKenzie

There never seems to be enough time. Each day starts with a schedule, an inbox, a calendar filled with obligations. It’s no wonder we lie awake worrying about our to-do list or leave work at lunch (if we’re lucky) with a brain mumbling random tasks and frustrations. There is not enough quiet.

There’s no easy fix for a busy life, but there are ways to escape it, to master it, and to balance it out with calm. Yoga teaches a great deal on this concept, which is perhaps why it has become so popular. To those less familiar, yoga might appear to be another workout fad. In fact, the teachings of yoga become most fruitful when they exercise the mind. It doesn’t take becoming a complete yogi or keeping a rigid schedule of classes to learn some of the tricks. There are a few simple exercises, inspired by yoga, that help mellow out even the most torturous, active mind. 

Breathing is something we do all the time. Breathing consciously is not. Thinking about taking slow, deep breaths means we are not thinking about all the other things that normally occupy our mind. Yoga breath, called pranayma, is done typically through the nose, breathing in slowly and out with a throaty, audible sound. Deep breathing consumes our entire body and its calming effects are immediate. Learning to breathe consciously can transform our state of mind, which is a handy tool for everything from placating petty fights at work to simply falling asleep.

Forward Fold
Another simple tactic to help calm the mind is a standing pose common in yoga. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend at the waist, taking hold of opposite elbows and letting the weight of the arms and the head draw you forward and down. You can keep your knees slightly bent, and simply hang for a few minutes.

Legs up the Wall
This is a great one to pull out on nights you can’t sleep. Sometimes laying in this position and breathing for a little while will do the trick. Simply lie on your back and extend both legs up the wall. Keep your spine flat to the floor and your arms by your side. Keep breathing slowly and consciously.

Tree Pose
Tree pose helps shut our mind chatter off because it forces us to balance (or fall over). Stand on one leg and bend the knee of the opposite leg and hold it for a second until you feel you have your balance. Concentrate on keeping the standing foot solid. Move the foot of the bent leg to rest on the inside of the thigh of the standing leg and keep the bent knee out to the side. Pause again, and when you feel balanced, lift your arms above your head, palms together. Hold this one for a few minutes  and let yourself fall out and come back in to it until you can keep it long enough to forget what you wanted to forget.

Note of caution: this pose is not for beginners, and not one that should be tried without learning the proper pose with the help of a yoga instructor. If you’re a headstand expert and you’ve done it in a yoga class, the pose is definitely one to bring home. Standing on your head not only takes practice and focus, there is something about looking at the world upside down for a while that makes you feel calmer and blessed with a new perspective when you arrive right side up.

Meditation, according to Wikipedia, is defined as “a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned, ‘thinking’ mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. It often involves turning attention to a single point of reference.”

The thought of meditating may seem daunting and out of reach to anyone who doesn’t consider themselves “new age,” but all it takes is a solid try (don’t be afraid to engage your iPod to talk you through it) and even the most cynical will be a convert. There are hardly any rules—you can try it sitting or laying down. There’s no better way to tame the devil of an active mind.

Calm Down
Sure, all of this sounds great, but how do we incorporate it into our busy lives? Some of these ideas may help get you motivated to mellow out.

Discover lunchtime yoga.
There’s something about escaping for an hour during the middle of the day that allows us to return to the office and have a completely different perspective and a renewed focus on what we’re doing. Suddenly that annoying woman in marketing is slightly understood; that email that seemed insurmountable is a five-minute response.

Use online tools to help structure your relaxation.
There are several yoga and meditation segments available online to download. The beauty of building your own mash-up meditation or yoga is that you can design it to fit whatever space of time you can allot.

Create a space at home for chilling out.
(The couch with a TV does not count.) The space doesn’t have to be big—it should simply be a spot where you can sit and meditate or go when you’re not sleeping to practice any of the above methodologies.

It’s amazing how peaceful it can be to forget about the past and the future and simply focus on the present moment, whether it’s ten minutes of breathing or an hour of yoga. Keeping the mind calm adds a sense of flexibility that makes everyone a nicer person.

Read more: http://www.divinecaroline.com/79972/55542-simple-ways-calm-chaos/2#ixzz1CTOdwbj9

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By: Katrin Schumann

No mom really likes to admit she’s a perfectionist—but of the 500-plus women we spoke with over the years of researching our new book, Mothers Need Time-Outs Too, we discovered that perfectionism is the number one issue keeping modern mothers from enjoying the moment. We are all so busy trying to be everything to everyone—and doing a stellar job while we’re at it—that we don’t have a spare second to plug into our own needs or desires.

But beware: this will hurt us, and our families, in the long run!

Countless psychological studies point to links between perfectionism and dysfunction. “One of the most pernicious forms of self-generated stress stems from perfectionism,” explains Dr. Jon Allen in a 2003 Perspective Magazine article. A continuous cycle of striving, failure, and self-criticism creates stress which pumps our blood full of hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. Both have been proven to harm the immune system, making people more vulnerable to a variety of illnesses—from the flu to cancer. Perfectionists often want and expect others to be perfect, too, perpetuating the cycle and leading to disagreements, wrecked relationships, and even more stress.
So what’s the solution? It’s easier than you think! Mothers say it’s important to:

  • Accept imperfection, perhaps even revel in it. Joelle, mother of one from New York, loves going to her messy friend’s house. It reminds her that not everyone has to live with the same standards.
  • Share responsibility, and let go of the need to always be in control. When your nine-year-old folds laundry, tell her you appreciate how hard he or she tried.
  • Choose your priorities. You can cut down on your activities—and your children’s—to free up time for other things or for nothing. YOU are in the driver’s seat.
  • Open your mind to alternative ways of running things. Elizabeth, raised in Germany and now living with her family of five in France, noticed how differently even those two neighboring cultures can be when it comes to mothers’ standards. “There’s no one way to do it correctly,” she said. “It really helps me to know that.”
  • Trust yourself. Be comfortable with what works for your family: it doesn’t matter what other people think about how your kids are dressed, whether your kitchen is spotless, or if your son made the A-team.

Dr. Allen, a professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine adds: “The good news is, although perfectionism can be a relatively ingrained personality trait, it can be moderated over time.” Ultimately, you are responsible for your own happiness, and if lowering your standards will help you carve out a some more “me-time,” then give it a try—your family will thank you for it!

First published July 2008

Read more: http://www.divinecaroline.com/22126/53065-perfectionist-moms-cut-out#ixzz1CSffPKgH

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By: Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project (View Profile)

Exercise is one of the keys to happiness. Research shows that people who exercise are healthier, more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. They get relief from anxiety and mild depression, comparable to medication and therapy. They perform better at work.

Also, although it’s tempting to flop down on the couch when you’re feeling exhausted, exercise is actually a great way to boost energy levels. Feeling tired is a reason to exercise, not a reason to skip exercise.

But even when you admit that you’d feel better if you exercised, it can be very hard to adopt the habit. My idea of fun has always been to lie in bed and read, preferably while also eating a snack, but I’ve managed to keep myself exercising by using all these tricks on myself:

1. Always exercise on Monday. This sets the psychological pattern for the week. Along the same lines …

2. If at all possible, exercise first thing in the morning. As the day wears on, you’ll find more excuses to skip exercising. Get it checked off your list, first thing.

3. Never skip exercising two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise, no matter how inconvenient.

4. Give yourself credit for the smallest effort. My father always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him. Many times, by promising myself I could quit ten minutes after I’d started, I got myself to start—and then found that I didn’t want to quit, after all.

5. Think about context. I thought I disliked weight training, but in fact, I dislike the guys who hang out in the weight-training area. Are you distressed about the grubby showers in your gym? Do you try to run in the mornings, but recoil from going out in the cold? Examine the factors that might be discouraging you from exercising.

6. Exercise several times a week. If your idea of exercise is to join games of pick-up basketball, you should be playing practically every day. Twice a month isn’t enough.

7. If you don’t have time to both exercise and take a shower, find a way to exercise that doesn’t require you to shower afterward. Twice a week, I have a very challenging weight-training session, but the format I follow doesn’t make me sweat. (Some of you are saying, “It can’t be challenging if you don’t sweat!” Oh yes, believe me, it is.)
8. Look for affordable ways to make exercising more pleasant or satisfying. Could you upgrade to a nicer or more convenient gym? Buy yourself a new iPod? Work with a trainer? Get a pedometer to keep track of your walking distances? Exercise is a high life priority, so this a worthwhile place to spend some money if that helps.
9. Think of exercise as part of your essential preparation for times you want to be in especially fine form—whether in performance (to be sharp for an important presentation) or appearance (to look good for a wedding) or mood (to deal with a stressful situation). Studies show that exercise does help.
10. Remember one of my favorite Secrets of Adulthood, courtesy of Voltaire: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t decide it’s only worth exercising if you can run five miles or if you can bike for an hour. I have a friend who scorns exercise unless she’s training for a marathon—so she never exercises. Even going for a ten-minute walk is worthwhile. Do what you can.
11. Don’t kid yourself. Belonging to a gym doesn’t mean you go to the gym. Having been in shape in high school or college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now. Saying that you don’t have time to exercise doesn’t make it true.
People often ask me, “So if I want to be happier, what should I be doing?” and I always say, “The first thing to do is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and plenty of exercise.”
I know that answer doesn’t sound properly transcendent and high-minded on the subject of happiness, but research shows that you’d be wise to start there. And I’ve found that if I’m feeling energetic and well rested, it’s much easier to follow all my other happiness-inducing resolutions.
Originally published on The Happiness Project

First published April 2010

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