3 Tips for Staying Sane

The world buzzes around us. Traffic, chatting, digital media, and there’s always something that has to be done RIGHT NOW. If you’re single, you probably have a full-time job and an active social life. If you have a family, you’re usually busy working and dealing with family things. There’s very little downtime, and if you are lucky enough to have two hours to yourself, you either catch up on something or are too exhausted to enjoy it.

So, what can we do? How do we balance a busy lifestyle with inner peace and happiness?

Game organization

3. Stay Organized. Have you misplaced your phone or keys lately? What about left home without something important. Don’t worry, we’ve all done it. The trick is to stay organized and have a place for everything. If you have a purse or bag, place it in the same spot every day when you get home. Use hooks or baskets for keys, phones, wallets, etc. to ensure they are always where you left them. To help with memory and to-do lists, set calendar reminders, and send yourself emails and texts (my favorite).

Keeping things clean also helps more than you realize. I use chores as a way to stay active while working at the computer. For example, write for 45 minutes, then get up and vacuum. Proofread for 30 minutes, then do some laundry. I always straighten things up as part of my nightly routine, too. Waking up to chaos can ruin a potentially good day. Tip: If you have kids, encourage them to do the same. This helps them learn good habits and reduces your to-do list.

Ocean City, MD

2. Find ways to relax. Not everyone has time to regularly soak in a bubble bath or attend an hour-long yoga class. But you have to take a break. Hobbies are a great way to relax and do something you enjoy. However, they should not be stressful or feel like work. They should serve as a reprieve from the daily grind and make you happy. If you’re hobby starts to cause you stress, it may be time to try something else.

And to those who enjoy a drink or beer at the end of the week; there’s no shame in that (wink). Sometimes that’s the only thing you have the energy to do. Tip: Some things I do are: painting, reading, watching my favorite shows and movies, turning everything off and enjoying silence, and listening to music.

Nashville Comic Con 2014

1. Have fun. The most important tip I have, and I cannot stress it enough. We all need fun, and little things can give us great pleasure. It’s easy to say, “I don’t have time for fun.” Bull stuffings. You have an hour to not work or stroll through social media feeds for personal fun.

Some things I do include going to concerts and movies, taking little trips, visiting my favorite places around town, chatting with friends, running out in the rain, and trying new things. It’s a proven fact laughter reduces stress, releases endorphins, and works the abdominal muscles. Some doctors even say it’s equivalent to a mild workout!

Honorable mention (and often the hardest thing to do): Don’t be afraid to say No. If someone asks you to hang out, and you’re tired, take a rain check. If you want to spend an afternoon on the couch instead of visiting family, do it. We often worry too much what people will think, when at the end of the day, we have to answer to ourselves. They may be disappointed or irritated, but they’ll get over it. And if not, you’re probably better off without them.

Let us know how you stay sane in the comments section! We love to try new things too!

Please keep in mind what works for me may not work for you, but if you think about it, I’m sure you can find your own ways to stay sane.

Treat Yourself: Take a Mini Vacation

Little fact: In 2011, CNNMoney reported Americans forfeit around $34 billion in vacation days per year. That is the total amount of money from unused vacation days. Ouch.

This statistic and recent planning inspired me to write about the importance of taking a break. This weekend I took my son to Kentucky for our annual mini mom/son vacation. Yes, work will be a little crazy when I return. Yes, it cost a little money. And yes, it was totally worth it.

The sunset and beach in Panama City, FLWhy Should You Take a Mini Vacation?

We all need a break, especially if you have a physically demanding job or sit at a desk all day. Our bodies get stiff, and our minds run 100 mph to keep up with our schedules. I am not suggesting a vacation with crammed schedules full of things to do. I’m talking about a vacation with fun activities and relaxation – think hot tub, beach, a hike or run, ziplining, or a quite dinner and drinks. And I strongly urge you to turn off your phone. Gasp!

Relax and Recharge: There are a number of sources that argue the mental and physical benefits of vacationing. Getting away allows us to have fun and relax, and we tend to sleep better. When we pack up and drive off, we break the monotony of everyday life and free ourselves – even if only for a couple of days. These trips are especially important for kids because they sit in class all day and deal with being kids. If you remember being one, it kind of sucked.

Make Memories: It’s a dismal thought, but do we begin dying the moment we’re born? It’s an interesting argument, and if so, we don’t have a lot of time to make memories and do everything we want. My son loves our mini vacations and will always remember his parents taking him to nearby attractions and cities, good restaurants, and spending quality time with him. I hope he will do the same with his family and friends.

Reflection and Connectivity: In our family, our mini vacations are times when one parent travels with our son. Last year, my husband and son went to their first NBA game in Memphis. This year, I took our son to one of the scariest places on Earth. Our little vacations are a time to grow closer, talk about anything, and try new things and foods. It’s all about spending time together or even traveling on your own. Taking a break can also jump-start creativity and inspire you to work harder.

We stay distracted and busy all the time, so it’s time we shut down like we do our computers and cellphones. Money and time are often factors, so here are some resources that may help:

51 Mini Family Vacations from Parenting.com

Inexpensive Mini Vacations from Easy Money Tips

The Mini Vacation from Travel+Leisure

It’s also a cool idea to vacation in your own city or take a day trip. We often overlook nice hotels and popular attractions that are in our own backyard.

If you’ve taken a cool mini vacation, feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!