Unclutter Your Life

How to Detox from Your Cell Phone

Well, it is the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend.  It is when we get the first taste of what the summer will bring as the “shoobies” make their way to the Jersey Shore.  This is always a tough weekend for me…. not it isn’t because of the influx of people; it is the weekend I am reminded of the loss of my aunt, Elsie AKA “my buddy” in 1999.  Yes, I squirreled for a moment, sorry back to today’s blog post…………..

Does the picture look like you 99% of the time?  When your phone isn’t in your hand, scrolling Facebook, reading emails or sending text messages, where is it?  I will admit mine is usually close by at least within arms reach.

How often has your Hubby or family or even you wished you could have “phone-less” time!  I mean a time when the phone was either shut off, put away or on “do not disturb”?  Are you starting to sweat at the thought of missing out on notifications?  Are you already picturing the fight with the kids over not being able to talk to their friends?

Most days, my cell phone is on “do not disturb” so the only people able to reach out to me are family.  Why?  So I can stop being obsessed.  So I can work my “at home business” on my time not when ever any calls or texts.  It wasn’t long ago I realized the ONLY time I have been totally “unplugged” from everything (cell phone, computer, tablet) was when we were on a cruise.  It is an automatic switch when I get on the ship, it goes off and it doesn’t come back on until we reach the car on our drive home.  I know a week worth of emails and messages can make your head spin but the truth is, we all need it once in awhile.

If all of these boxes apply to you, you’re clearly in need of a detox

  • When your thumb on your dominant hand is sore from all the scrolling
  • You look at your phone first thing when you wake up
  • A panic attack is around the corner when your battery is running low
  • You get anxious when being separated from your phone
  • You lack concentration and check your phone too often (even unconscious)

Did you answer yes all (or most) of these?  Then you are in desperate need of a cell phone detox!

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Start with 8 hours of disconnectionyou’ll feel restless at first, but getting used to being phone free takes time.  The easiest way is to turn it off an hour before you go to bed and don’t turn it on until you have had your coffee in the morning.

2. Throw a phone free dinner – see how the conversation changes.  People actually talk and listen to each other.  Oh and no photos of food.  Dinner is a no brainer for me.  I don’t do the phone at dinner, especially on the nights hubby is off.

3. Go out in nature and connect to the real world.  The weather is nicer so this is a whole lot easier to do. No pictures or checking your phone.  Depending on where you go for a walk, you may need to take your phone in case there is an emergency.  I carry mine in my pocket when I go for a walk only because of the MS.

4. Set a phone curfew to turn phones off after 8PM and have a relaxing night.  Okay, so this may be a little bit tougher but I am willing to try it.  The problem is when I switch off the phone, the iPad is close at hand to check emails and Facebook.  How do you totally unplug?

5. Grab a magazine, a coffee and go soak up some sun by yourself!  This sounds great in theory but my books are on my iPad which then keeps me connected to the internet if I am close to the house.  UGH!  Solution – I have been buying some old fashioned books at yard sales so I can start reading “electronic free”.  Then I donate them back to the church rummage sale.  A win for everyone.

So, be honest… how many times a day do YOU check your phone?  I’m getting better but it is still a process.  How about you, are you willing to give it a try this holiday weekend?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

De-Stress Your Mind and Body

13335830_645757565572612_4734345543615956057_n

“Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, and then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.”           Jennifer Louden

Happy Friday!  This isn’t just any Friday.  It is the Friday of a holiday weekend.  For many, it will be the kickoff to 3 days of family, fun and sun.  For some, they will use this time to relax and recharge while others will think of the million things that need to get done.

Yup, I am the one who pushes myself.  For years, I didn’t seem to have an off switch.  I mean to be successful you need to work hard, right?  I am learning that self-care is important for me to reach my BIG goals.  Sometimes I think the latest round of health challenges was the wake up call that I needed so I had no choice but to nurture and heal myself.

It can be tough finding time to practice self-care, we all need to nurture ourselves—emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.  Here are some tips that you can start to practice this weekend…

1. Take ownership.

Take personal responsibility for your wellness. We need to form and maintain healthy habits that enable us to thrive. No one else can do this for us.

2. Commit.

It wasn’t until the brain fog, the chronic tiredness along with the aches and pains set in was I willing to make a commitment.  It was when I was unable to do the things that I loved that realized the many things that I took for granted.  Identify the self-care practices that help you function at your best—meditation, short walks, getting out in nature; anything that helps you recharge physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Then schedule these activities into your day.  Start with just 10-minutes a day so it isn’t so overwhelming.

3. Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the foundation of self-care, because we’re only able to identify our needs when we’re present in our bodies. Mindfulness also nourishes our spirit by rooting us in the present moment. By practicing mindfulness, we become engaged with our surroundings.  Meditation is a great way to get a sense of calm, peace, and balance.

4. Take breaks for deep breathing.

I always thought this was crazy BUT taking regular mini breathing breaks throughout my day helps me to connect my mind, body, and spirit. Believe it or not, a few deep breaths during the day also energizes me.

When you breathe in, feel the gratitude for your life.  When you breathe out, et go of all the unnecessary demands that you place on yourself.

5. Nourish your spirit.

This could be getting outside and enjoying nature—a leisurely walk at sunrise or sunset, a swim in the ocean, or even just stepping outside into the fresh air and stopping to acknowledge how truly miraculous the world is. It is the simplest of acts that will fill your spirit with light.

6. Beware the “busy life.”

We are all BUSY.  Some believe it is a sign of success. How successful are you when you are stressed, exhausted, physically and mentally depleted, and missing out on opportunities for joy in your daily life?  I am trying to set boundaries so I am not using being too busy as an excuse for living a beautiful life.

7. Keep it simple.

It is only when we slow down that we’re able to recognize all the chaos that can fill our world. Keeping life simple is now a priority.  Where can you simplify or scale back? Where are you creating unnecessary stress or drama in your life?  When I keep it simple, I am open to accepting more love, laughter, joy, and happiness into my world.

8. Recognize and eliminate energy drains.

Who and what drains your energy?   What habits, activities, or relationships aren’t healthy for you? What, if eliminated, would provide a huge sense of relief?  When you are exhausted, and your energy is depleted, you need to learn to manage and replenish your energy—mind, body, and spirit—so that you can recover quickly.

You are worthy of self-love and self-care every day. We all are. For every positive choice we make, we support our mind, body, and spirit. Self-care fuels us with the strength and energy we need to achieve all of our dreams.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

Memories of Being a Rainbow Girl

The International Order of Rainbow for Girls turns 91 years old today!  Rainbow is a non-profit service organization for girls between the ages of 11 and 20. Rev. W. Mark Sexson founded our order in McAlester, Oklahoma in April of 1922. Rev. W Mark Sexson sought to develop an organization where young women could build self confidence and leadership skills, all while serving their community. The organization promotes community service, as well as love and service to their schools, their homes and to each other.  Our order prepares the girls of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls teaches leadership skills and public speaking. It builds self-respect, confidence, poise, patriotism, fidelity, integrity and character, all while providing a fun and safe environment for girls to meet other girls their age and to build friendships that will last a lifetime.  Rainbow also teaches girls to be a part of a team, to successfully communicate with each other and to trust members. We want our girls to have positive role models and mentors, so that younger girls can continue to influence the new members of the assembly, as they grow older.

I joined Iris Assembly #31 when I was 12 years old, that awkward age when you aren’t sure who you are was made easier with the friends that I met through Rainbow.  We weren’t from the same schools, nor would we probably have been friends if is wasn’t for Rainbow.  We laughed together, cried together, traveled through the State of NJ visiting other assemblies, did charity projects, endless sleepless nights with sleep overs and the best part was the lasting friendships.  

Over the years, my life took many turns (not always positive ones) but the basic lessons that I learned in Rainbow of love, religion, nature, immortality, fidelity, patriotism and service have stuck with me, guiding me through the rough patches.  Although my daughter never had the desire to be part of Rainbow, the lessons were taught to her while she was growing up and have become part of who she is today – a strong, successful woman.  

Now, that I have moved back to my hometown area and with the help of Facebook, I am reconnecting with old friends.  Re-kindling some of those connections that were lost of the years.  

Happy 91st Birthday to the International Order of Rainbow for Girls.  May you prosper and grow in the coming years.