My grandmother arrived in the U.S. by way of steamship, owned by the infamous Starline Fleet, in 1936. An immigrant child from Czechoslovakia, she traveled with her mother, Zuzana, after a seven year separation from her father. The ship docked in New York Harbor, as they were quickly ushered off to Ellis Island, where her name was changed from Mária to Mary .
At the tender age of 7, she began her journey in this country with a million other ethnic children, all speaking different languages, learning proper English in American schoolrooms. She picked it up quickly and her love of books began. She frequented public libraries and read a book a day, mostly fiction. She consumed books, lots of them.
Not always having a place to live, she and her mother spent time in alleyways, eating day-old-donuts and drinking black coffee for breakfast. Her mother sewed rags into usable pieces, such as blankets, selling them for pennies and nickels on the streets of New York City.
Eventually her mother was able to save enough money to buy a home in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Over time, she bought a row of fourplexes on Main Street, renting them out while remaining to live in one of the upper apartments.
Mary didn't have it easy. She ran away from home when she was 16 years old, and lived in an abandoned building in New York City with a bunch of other runaways. She worked in a factory during the day, and loved dancing in the clubs at night. It didn't take too long for someone to notice her. She was beautiful, exotic, and she looked like a movie star.
She married a man 10 years her senior, became pregnant with my mother and returned home to Connecticut to angry parents, at the age of 18. She and her husband rented the apartment downstairs, which was where my mother was raised.
With little education or skills, she got a job working in a bakery decorating cakes. Although she liked her job, it didn't pay well. Times were tough for the family, but she persevered.
By the time I came along in October of 1965, my parents lived in an apartment just down the street from my grandmother. I remember riding my tricycle on the sidewalk at 3 years old, with my mother walking closeby, on our way to Grandma's house. She always had snacks and goodies waiting for me, and I knew which kitchen cabinets they were hidden in.
My family moved to Bethel, which was about 38 miles away, just before my 4th birthday. But it might as well have been a million miles away. I missed my visits to Grandma's house. I loved it when she would call on Saturday mornings, and I would answer the phone and tell her all about school and what I was doing. I loved the two weeks I spent at her house every summer, playing at the beach all day while my grandfather dug for clams and my grandma watched me run and splash in the water.
As it is for all of us, time rushes by and before we know it childhood is a memory, and we get busy with our own lives. The summer visits stopped, I was wrapped up with my teenaged-self and suddenly I was off and running on my own journey.
During a 7-month period, at the age of 35, I lived with Grandma. It was one of the most difficult times of my life, as I had just separated from my husband of 16 years. Grandma and I became close friends, confidants. I no longer saw her as a little old lady. She had stories, lots of them, and she was a woman who was married and had a child. She understood me. We spent hours talking about life, about love, about what it was to be a woman in this world, which she made look easy. After my divorce, I moved on with my life and had little time for her. I knew she was sad the day I moved out of her place, but like with so many of us, I thought I had plenty of time for her, later.
I could say I have regrets, because that is the truth. I could say I wished I would've spent more time with her, called her, or wrote to her. But I didn't. Mary died this morning, August 28th, 2018, at the age of 90. She ate breakfast with my mother on the coast of Oregon, went inside the cottage where they were staying and laid down for a nap. I couldn't think of a better way to leave, peacefully in a deep sleep.
A few weeks ago, while rummaging through an old family trunk, I found a passport that was preserved in a ziplock bag. Inside of it were the photos of my great-grandmother and Grandma. Pages stamped with different countries, chronicled their path, as they made their way from train to train across Europe to board a ship to freedom.
They escaped a few years before the war began, but the camps were already starting to be built, and people were starting to be rounded up. I can't even imagine what it was like for a 7 year-old girl to leave the village where she was born and raised, leaving everything behind (except for a doll that she grasped), traveled by train and by steamboat with thousands of other immigrants, to the land where the streets were paved with gold, only to end up mostly homeless and hungry.
Mária was gentle and strong in her own right. She lived exactly the life she wanted. I know, as I write this now, that she is here with me. I feel her arms around me as tears fall from my eyes. "Thank you, Grandma. Thank you for everything."
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My day starts with coffee. I'm talking, before I can even speak, before my vision starts working, coffee. The stronger, the better. I am a self-proclaimed, full-blown coffee addict, and I'm not ashamed to say so. That's where my day starts, and that pretty much gets my day ticking, but why would you want to sign up for my Patreon just because of that?
Here's the Scoop...
I do a lot. And I mean A LOT! My day is full with such a variety of diverse activities, that it's sometimes hard to keep up, even for myself. I have a hundred tabs open 24/7, and I somehow manage to manage them all. I am...
A Typical Day in My Life Looks Like This:
I usually wake up very early in the morning on the couch in my studio, because I work all night long. I nap, I don't really sleep-sleep. I get up and stumble over to the coffee maker and brew a pot. I guess you could say I'm a nudist because I prefer being nude most of the time, when I can. Naked Coffee always tastes better.
Meditation is essential first thing. Without it, my day spirals out of control. Not that I'm in controlof anything, but you get it. My morning practice balances and centers me. Soft music plays while I create my day. Today's Music: Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe (mostly mantras).
I decide what I want my day to look like. I do this through visualization during meditation. If that doesn't make sense to you, maybe this will: I sit on a pillow on the floor of my studio, close my eyes, take deep breathes in and out and see my day as I want it to be. I make a conscious choice as to what I want to feel today. It really starts there - the attitude I choose. Gratitude quickly follows. I make a mental list of the things I am grateful for today.
I live my life one day at a time. All we really have is today, this moment. So, I don't think about the past or the future. I make myself my first priority. What does that look like? It looks like a healthy nurtured body, mind and spirit. Once I get myself prepared this way, then I move on with the rest of my day.
I keep my ego in check. This is important. I've worked hard at this and it is the only way I know how to live, not only in my personal life, but with work also. I check on myself throughout the day, making sure I'm living in a humble way. That means reminding myself that I am just like every other person on this planet. We are ALL special, gifted, talented, beautiful, amazing creatures. That quote "I treat the CEO and the janitor of a company the same way" rings true for me.
After I eat a bowl of oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries, I throw on some clothes, kick on the computer and sit at my desk. Next: open some tabs and get to work.
I'm a one-woman-show. The majority of my time is dedicated to marketing. Right away I check the calendar on the blackboard behind my desk to see what is scheduled for today. The past couple weeks was a mixture of artists coming in to install their artwork, meeting with a new website client, a big Art Opening with live music, prepping my studio for a photographer for a private shoot, a City Hall meeting, getting ready for weekly interpretive dance classes in my studio, a board meeting with an area homeless organization, a few hikes with my camera, editing photos, meeting with a videographer to go over my latest motivational talk, blogging, getting together with my editor for lunch, playing in the river, meeting with a prison aftercare group, traveling between Jerome, Sedona and Flagstaff.
My studio is an old classroom in an old high school that was built in 1923, on the top of a mountain. The high school closed down in 1975 and reopened in the early 1980's as working art studios. There are 2 large wall-sized blackboards, 5 tall old-schoolwindows on one wall, and hardwood floors. It's literally untouched from when it was built. I love it. It's a nostalgic place, historic and unique.
Between meetings, classes, art shows, marketing, photographing, modeling, writing and dancing, there's the daily stuff that we all do, and I am no exception - laundry, dishes, groceries, making the bed - you get the idea.
I run from yoga class, which is across the hallway in my building, to a meeting 20 miles away, to a video chat with a client, to responding to messages from photographers and models for my next workshop, to checking my bank balance on my phone, to taking a few photos on a short walk, to emailing my newsletter, and the list goes on and on. I do it all on the fly - in my car, at the coffee shop, walking along a hiking trail, at my desk in my studio - wherever.
I'm quick to share my personal story with others, because I believe in the power of words and actions. Who knows who I might meet today, that may need to hear something I have to say, and vise-versa. I am a grateful member of a 12-Step Program, a recovered anorexic with body dysmorphic disorder, a self-motivated, uncomplicated woman. Basically, I am a survivor.
What I'm offering here on Patreon is an intimate communication with you. Sure, you can find me on social media, see what I'm about on my website, but there's things I don't share with just anyone. I journal daily. I'm offering a peek into my personal life, along with my daily quotes, videos and what I'm working on next. My life is always evolving and I am always transforming.
Take this journey with me. Tell me who you are, what makes you tick, what your day looks like. And in the process, help support an independent author, model, blogger, photographer, and sign up for the rewards that you're comfortable with.
I am incredibly grateful for this life I have, and for your support in me. I'm looking forward to sharing my adventure with you. Thanks for reading. Now, it's time for another cup of coffee.
Seven Canadians walked into my studio one day.... no, this isn't the beginning of a joke. They wandered in because the door was open. My studio isn't just where I work, it doubles as a photography studio and an art gallery. I offered them coffee and cookies while the mom of the group discovered my book, which I sell on a little table near the door.
"Is this a true story?" she asked. "Yes, it is. Let me tell you about it." From there, I told them about my life. I had a captive audience in my studio, and soon we became friends. They spent an hour with me, when the dad said "are you a motivational speaker?"
"No, but that's a good idea." I quickly wrote it on the blackboard on the wall behind my desk.
I was inspired, my adrenaline was running. I contacted my editor who put me in contact with someone who organizes community talks at a local church. I had a title and an idea. But then something miraculous happened.
My recovery took an unexpected turn when a model named Abby asked me to do a photo shoot with her. Everything I thought I was going to say at the talk changed after that shoot.
I invite you to watch the video and see what I mean. This is the beginning of something big for me. I'm preparing and practicing for a TEDx Talk coming up at the end of the year.
Video courtesy of Mark Short of fotographfx.com
In my past life, I changed my personality with the wind. I shifted to suit whatever environment I was in. I lost all sense of who I really was.
I was so worried about what people thought of me, that I did what everyone else wanted or expected of me. I did that for so long that I didn't even know what it was that I wanted anymore. Over time, I became unrecognizable.
Somewhere in my early 40's, I wanted to find myself again. Her are some things I did to be more authentic:
1. I stopped apologizing for who I was or what I loved.
I love what, and whom, I love. I don't apologize for who I am. This is the person I was create to be. When I apologize for who I am or what I love, I send the message to myself that I am not enough and need to be fixed. I spent lots of years apologizing for who I was; I felt like a burden to other people. Today, however, I realize that I don't need to apologize for the fact that I struggle with depression and anxiety. What I now understand is that I am exactly who I am and it's beautiful at times, chaotic at times, and sometimes both.
2. I have my own beliefs.
I am curious about things. I have been this way since I was a kid - about what I was told, what I heard and what I saw. I don't need to accept things as they are. I used to let what others said affect me a lot. I would even let others' opinions of me affect my self-worth. Today I find this funny because I realize that there is no "one and only truth." What people say and do is about them, not about me. I have learned that it is okay to be okay with my curiosity about life and form my own beliefs and opinions.
3. I ask myself what my motivations are.
This is something I have to do on a regular basis. My ego can look like a thousand different things, and if I don't slow down and try to understand what my motivations are, it can run my life. In my past, I was a people-pleaser, a caretaker, a worrier. I wanted people to like me and to think I was a good person. I used to say things that I thought people would want to hear. Is my motivation true to who I am? Or is it run by a need of approval? I am constantly checking in with my motivation.
4. I trust my gut.
If something feels wrong, there is a reason. There's been many times where I've ignored my gut feeling, and regretted it later on. I ignored my gut feelings in past relationships. I felt something wasn't right but just carried on until one day it could not be ignored any longer. If something doesn't feel right, there's always some truth to it. My body can sense when something isn't right for me. I pay attention to my gut instinct and trust that my intuition is onto something.
5. I spend time alone.
I spend time alone because I need to stop absorbing others' energies. I need alone time regularly to detox from the world, find center again and balance myself. When I constantly surround myself with others, it is impossible to ground myself. I make time for myself on a regular basis. I meditate daily. I go for walks by myself to the Post Office. I get to know myself, by myself.
6. I speak my mind.
If I hold back what I really want to say, I get sick. Seriously, I'll get a migraine. I need to speak my truth and be heard. This doesn't mean I need to always speak my truth, but finding one space where I can honestly and freely communicate is something I need. Usually it's a journal, or a close friend, and sometimes it's a support group. I'm personally a big fan of writing, support groups, coffee dates with friends, and therapy.
7. I surround myself with people who accept me exactly as I am.
It is really difficult for me to be my authentic self when the people who are around me are not those who accept me. I remember a time in my life when I discovered something new about myself and chose to change my way of life. Some people judged me and didn't accept me. I surround myself with people who respect and support me. I let go of those who are judgmental and critical of me.
8. I discriminate information.
I was not designed to swallow information whole. I make information my own. I don't absorb everything around me. I ask myself a couple questions: What does this information mean to me? Is it important to me? These things are what make information relevant, meaningful and important to me.
9. I know it's okay to let people down sometimes.
I am a human being; I am fallible. I will continue to make mistakes and let people down at times. Being true to myself means that I am okay setting boundaries with others, even if it feels like I am letting them down. People that I want around are people that will accept my boundaries and opinions.
10. I accept myself entirely.
I am loyal to myself. I am a beautiful, messy and lovable creature. We are all beautiful creatures, displaying our own unique array of colorful personalities. Our biggest challenge in life is accepting the whole spectrum of ourselves and of those around us. It's a journey of a lifetime, one that can not be easily mastered overnight. But the one thing I do know is this: it is entirely worth it.
The life of an entrepreneur is not without its challenges. Often days are cluttered with business meetings, sifting through emails, reaching out to potential clients, monitoring social media, and tracking business growth, just to name a few. Juggling all of these responsibilities and maintaining a mindset of always being ready to hustle can be quite draining in the long haul.
However, without proper relaxation, even the most motivated entrepreneurs can suffer the consequences of sustaining an intense work ethic without proper rest.
Here are 10 ways that entrepreneurs can easily de-stress from their responsibilities and energize for the days ahead.
1. Identify Sources of Stress
The first step to destressing is pinpointing the most direct causes of stress from your daily routine
With so many daily responsibilities to balance, entrepreneurs can have stress stemming from several sources, so this step may seem redundant and unhelpful, but the practice of identifying these sources of discomfort can be crucial in crafting a plan to deal with these ongoing pressures.
Curbing stress can be an involved process, but taking the time to find the exact causes of stress can help with the overall process of combating these feelings.
2. Hit the Gym
Daily exercise is one of the most beneficial practices for everyone, especially for entrepreneurs trying to blow off steam or escape from the discomforts of their busy everyday lives.
In addition, exercise doesn’t have to consist of lifting heavy weights or running long distances; simply being active for an hour a day can have both physical and mental health benefits. Getting in better shape and frequent exercise can lead to more overall energy and a better mental state to deal with sources of stress.
3. Turn Away from Technology
"Today everything from entertainment to business is conducted through the Internet, and so most people find themselves 'plugged in' multiple hours a day, if not longer,” says Deep Patel, the founder of Owlmetrics, an Instagram analytics tool. Entrepreneurs in particular may be checking the Internet and social media for a large part of the day to conduct their daily responsibilities. Eventually, these tasks and their accompanying stress can become increasingly associated with technology.
Taking a break from looking at screens and checking the Internet can afford entrepreneurs a much-needed break from whatever has been influencing their stress. In addition, this escape from technology can allow them to reflect on their lives outside of business and technology, which can ultimately help identify sources of stress.
4. Early to Bed
Many entrepreneurs carry the prevailing attitude to always stay busy. Although this mindset works wonders for business interests, it is less than beneficial for those people who forego other needs like sleep to attack their other projects.
Productivity is fine, but a lack of restful sleep can be a contributing factor in feelings of stress building up. By endeavoring to go to sleep earlier or fitting short periods of rest in busy days, stress can largely be eliminated since the body and mind are given ample time to recover from the weight of daily responsibilities.
5. Pick Up a Hobby
Working nonstop can become such a tedious, repetitive cycle, that it’s no wonder why entrepreneurs can become so affected by stressful emotions. One remedy for this issue is picking up a simple hobby.
Nothing complex or mind-wracking is needed; in fact, according to Harvard researcher Herbert Benson, simpler, more repetitive hobbies like knitting and stitching have been proven to reduce stress levels. Since the practice is easy yet continuous, it can help take a person’s mind off whatever is causing them stress, even for a little while.
6. Listen to Good Music
Classical music has long been associated with certain destressing qualities, like slowing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure. However, listening to music you like can have the added benefit of filling your brain with chemicals like dopamine that cause warmer feelings of comfort.
Entrepreneurs feeling the weight of the world on their back could benefit greatly from setting aside some time everyday, when the feelings of stress are at their worst, to sit down and put on some of their favorite tunes. Taking in those moments can combat feelings of stress and even motivate people to get back to work with greater energy.
7. Buy a Plant
Not all cures to stress have to be complicated. Studies have shown plants to possess a unique calming effect that can counteract rising stress levels. Entrepreneurs can simply buy a small houseplant and place it somewhere inconspicuous like their office desk.
Then, when the feelings of stress hit hardest, they can reduce those feelings, even slightly, just by being around that tiny houseplant.
8. Get a Snack
Stress eating gets the stigma of pigging out on unhealthy junk foods instead of dealing with outside pressures. Although eating unhealthy foods definitely doesn’t help your situation, eating a snack when feeling stressed actually isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be.
Having a moderate, filling snack can immediately fight against stress because the brain will no longer receive signals of hunger or malnourishment. Entrepreneurs who have a mindful snack when feeling stressed can reduce those feelings drastically.
9. Breathe Deeply
Sometimes the easiest way to cope with stress is by simply stepping back and taking a deep breath. Dr. Herbert Benson states that breathing exercises can help reduce stress by putting the body in a more relaxed state.
So entrepreneurs feeling the weight of their responsibilities especially heavily can just take a few breaths to reduce their blood pressure and reduce stress and tension from within.
10. Go for a Short Walk
Stress happens. Entrepreneurs can pretty much accept it as fact that doing business goes hand in hand with feeling pressured. Coping with these tensions may seem difficult, but something as insignificant as a short walk can be the cure.
Slowing your stride and reflecting on the past day can help ground the emotions of people experiencing heavy stress, especially when they feel like they’ve been rushing through everything else at a thousand miles an hour.
Hey people, listen up! Get close and personal with me as I share parts of my life with you. This won't be offered anywhere else, so sign up today. The Rewards begin now!
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I believe there is an exchange in everything we do. When I sit down at a restaurant, I expect to pay for my meal. When I go to a concert, or a movie, or a museum, I can’t get in without paying for a ticket. I see my writing the same way.
Writing is my life’s work, my passion. I put everything I have into each piece that I write. There is value in my work. I am providing something – my heart, my wisdoms, my insights, my thoughts and feelings.
This is my passion and it is also my job. I would be so grateful if you would honor my work and support my craft. This way, I can keep writing and you can keep reading.
I'm looking forward to sharing my inspirational quotes, my weekly/daily journal writings and videos with you. Thank you for your generosity. I wouldn’t be where I am without your readership and support.
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Do you write every day?, someone recently asked me.
I do write every day, about my perspectives and observations about the world around me. I jot things down on a notepad that I carry in my hobo bag. I send emails and texts to myself on my iPhone, mostly one-liners and quotes. I scribble words and phrases on scrap pieces of paper on the desk in my studio. I journal... a lot!
A fun way to get to know me is through personal blogs and videos, and support an indie author at the same time, through Patreon. With a monthly subscription you'll be privy'd to pieces of my life that I don't share anywhere else, not even here on my Blog Spot.
Inspirational quotes, stories about my day (which are never ordinary or repetitive) and videos of my talks will be available to you. I'm excited about sharing my life's journey and inspiring others to write about theirs.
Check me out here: Patreon
Subscribe and send the link to your friends. My goal is to reach $500 a month. Once that goal is reached, I'll have some extra things to share with you. My future goal is to create a onetime pledge to preorder a signed copy of my soon-to-be-released book.
Thanks for checking out my Patreon Page and supporting an indie author.
My brothers and I piled into the station wagon while our mother stocked it full of the usual beach necessities: a huge thermal jug full of iced tea, pails & shovels, magazines, suntan oil, beach towels, a blanket and a big umbrella. This particular July morning was chilly, hazy and overcast. The drive to Sherwood Island in Westport, Connecticut, felt longer than usual from the woods of Bethel. I was anxious to get my feet in the sand.
I was 12 years old listening to Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" on the car radio. Sitting in the backseat, I stared out the open window as the wind flowed through my long curly dirty-blonde hair. The warmth of the sun shined on my freckled face, my innocent green eyes watched as we sped past tall trees, southbound on Route 53.
Cracked tar was covered with sand, the roadway leading to the beach hadn't been fixed in years. My brothers and I scrambled out of the car as soon as it was parked, grabbing things from the back of the station wagon. As my mother ran to catch up with the boys, I staggered behind.
The sun broke through the haze, the clouds were gone. I walked slowly on the path of tall grass and sand, past the shaded area full of tall trees and lush green grass, hibachi grills and picnic tables. I walked with confidence for the first time ever, wearing a sky-blue and white bikini. An unfamiliar type of music blared from boomboxes in the picnic area, a type of music I had never heard before - disco. I turned to look in the direction of where the music was coming from.
As I turned my head, I noticed a boy. He was sitting on a picnic table about 20 yards away, with his feet resting on the bench. He was tall, about 6'2", with smooth dark skin. He stared at me, didn't take his eyes off of me.
The world slowed down at that moment and sounds were muffled. My eyes met his and we both smiled shyly at each other. My grin grew as he whispered "hi" and waved just a little bit. I kept walking slowly, still looking at him and smiling as his eyes sparkled and his smile grew even bigger.
For the first time in my life, I knew what it felt to be beautiful. A boy I had never met before gave me that gift.
I ran down to the beach where my mother had laid the blanket and propped the umbrella in the sand. My brothers played in the water with a bunch of other kids while I walked out along the stone-breaker, watching the waves crash upon them.
Here I am today at the age of 52, and I can still smell the salt air of that day, hear the seagulls and the waves, feel the sun shining down on me, and I can still see that boy smiling.
One year ago today, I modeled for a photographer in Flagstaff, Arizona. During the past year we became close friends. When I told him this story of the summer of 1978, I knew it was him that I saw. Sometimes life hands you exactly what you need, and it's a sin if you don't reach back and take a chance. Our journey together begins today, nearly 40 years after we met, and one year after we found each other again.
Do I believe in fate? I can say this - "I am no longer skeptical!"
"I wasn't supposed to be here," Zushka said, as we sat at a little table in the corner of Macy's Coffee Shop in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona. "There's literally no reason why I should be alive."
Zushka Biros is a recovered anorexic, a survivor of rape and abuse, but her story doesn't end there.
"Trauma comes in all different flavors," she goes on to tell us. "It isn't immune to economic status, your ethnic or religious background. It doesn't care what type of family you come from or how rich or poor you are."
She goes deep into exposing her demons, her blunt honesty is impressive. She doesn't sugarcoat anything. What is surprising is that Zushka has processed her tragedies in a unique sort of way - through photography.
"I picked up a camera 6 months ago. After modeling for a few years, I decided I wanted to be on the other side of the lens. Starting with landscapes and posed models, my addiction for photography began. But then, something unexpected happened."
I listened as she told the story of a model who approached her, asking for a photo shoot. "Her name is Abby and she has a studio across the hall from mine in Jerome. She asked me to do a shoot with her and I said 'Would you like to go down to the basement?' She didn't even bat an eye - 'yes!' she said. Then it got interesting."
Through the character of Abby, Zushka was allowed to express her personal distress and pain. "What better place than a dark basement to face the crippling effects that grief and suffering had on my life."
Not only was the photo shoot cathartic for Zushka, but for Abby as well. "To share a space with a woman, to share a space with a woman artist, to share so many similarities despite age and conditions, to be made to feel beautiful and safe, to wake up to images of myself that made me feel like my life is worth living... You are a gift. This is a gift. I hope this is just the beginning." - Abby
The Naked Truth - Triumph Over Trauma will begin at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 7th, at The Church of the Red Rocks in Sedona, Arizona, followed by a short Q&A with Zushka.
Don't hit snooze! Seriously, read this.
It's 7 a.m. on Monday and you have to be at work in two hours. You’re tired and grumpy, and it’s cold outside. You do not want to get out of bed. We’ve all been there and it’s not fun. Having a good morning ritual can make your mornings more productive and improve your mood and energy levels for the rest of your day. Here are a few of my favorite tips for making waking up and getting out of bed easier:
1. Drink Water Before Going to Sleep
Do we drink enough water during the day? Drinking water before going to sleep you will cause you to need to to use the bathroom in the morning. Needing to use the bathroom will make you want to get up and prevent you from falling back to sleep. Hey, it's a trick that works. Try it.
2. Open your Blinds Before Going to Sleep
Leaving your blinds open at night will allow the sun to enter your room and wake you up. Most people have a hard time sleeping when a room is bright. A dark room is more conducive to sleep. The sun is a source of vitamin D, which is a natural source of energy. The sun also reminds our mind and body that it’s daytime and that we should be awake and energized. For me, as soon as the sun rises, I'm up.
3. Eat Before Going to Sleep
One of the reasons why you may feel groggy in the morning is because you’ve gone a long time since eating. A small snack before bed can help prevent this. I usually eat an easy to digest food such as yogurt, nuts and/or peanut butter. (Eating pizza before bed is a bad idea. I know, I've tried it!)
4. Set your Alarm Clock to Play your Favorite Music
There's nothing worse than the sound of an alarm clock. Set your alarm to play music that makes you happy. Something fast and upbeat. The first thought in your head each day be a bright one. Recently, there are two songs that I listen to first thing in the morning to get me moving: Me Too by Meghan Trainor; and Eat Sleep Rave Repeat by Fatboy Slim.
5. Place Your Phone (or Alarm Clock) Away From Your Bed
By placing your phone or alarm clock across the room, you will be forced to get out of bed to turn it off. Getting out of bed is often the hardest part about waking up in the morning. By getting out of bed faster, you increase the likelihood of starting your day rather than going back to sleep. Having your phone or alarm clock next your bed makes it easier to press the snooze button and sleep longer. Once you are out of bed, it’s usually easier to stay up and get your day going.
6. Consume Caffeine Shortly After Waking Up
You may feel groggy for the first hour or two after waking up. Feeling groggy leads to lower productivity, and means more time spent on certain tasks than is necessary. To eliminate the morning groggy feeling, drink coffee shortly after waking up. Drink LOTS of coffee! It prevents you from wanting to go back to sleep, and will give you the energy you need to get your morning started.
7. Exercise in the Morning
Get outside and walk. Some light exercise in the morning will get your endorphins flowing and give you more energy. Weight training or a class at the gym are great options if that's what you're into. Whatever it is, get your body moving. Getting outside is always best - fresh air is always good for your body, mind and soul.
8. Eat When You Wake Up
Like I said earlier, while sleeping for eight hours you haven’t provided your body with any sustenance. A small and easy-to-digest meal in the morning will give you a boost of energy. I recommend a piece of fruit, yogurt or oatmeal.
9. Do Something Fun in the Morning
Stimulating your mind by doing an enjoyable activity will give you energy. If you schedule it in advance, knowing that you will be doing something fun will make you more eager to get out of bed in the morning. It could be a phone conversation with a friend, reading, or a yoga class - choose something that inspires you.
10. Be Accountable
Schedule something with somebody in the morning. Being accountable to someone is one of the most effective motivators. Schedule a breakfast or workout with a friend. It will give you a kick-start in the morning.
11. Keep a Routine
Look, none of us are perfect. Keeping a regular and consistent sleep schedule helps your body get into a natural rhythm. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. By doing so you will begin to naturally fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day. Waking up will feel more natural. In addition, it will help you fall asleep at a more regular schedule.
I am living the dream, one day at a time, and sharing my experiences with you.
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