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Walking in Nature!

Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilized stress buster. Our findings suggest that something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone’s daily positive emotions but may also contribute a non-pharmacological approach to serious conditions like depression.

Transitioning From A Night Owl to An Early Bird!

At the ripe age of 30, I have successfully transitioned from my vampire days to greet the hummingbirds at their morning yawn.

Until I was 27, I was a night owl, staying up until 3AM almost every night and wondering why I was so hungry at 10pm.  Silly girl.  I loved being awake when no one else was, I felt like I had the world at my fingertips, sometimes heading to the grocery store around midnight.

Writing at 1am became my nightly routine.  And then I met someone.  Someone who woke up @ 5am.  My nightly sessions of staying up, playing music and making desserts were becoming a thing of the past.  This someone couldn’t even fathom staying awake that long, it didn’t bother him though.  He fell asleep around 10pm and I tried to stay quiet while I read magazines and pretended to watch the movie he started for me.

The transition was slow.  Instead of 3am, I went to bed at 2am and so on, until I was falling asleep around 10:30!  I never thought I’d be an early bird, I lived for the night!  Now I can’t imagine staying up past 11pm.  There are those nights when he is gone at work and I find myself getting sucked into watching the shows I’ve DVR’d until 11:15, dragging myself to sleep and then just laying there…I missed the window of perfect sleeping time.  Between 10-10:30, after that, the REM sleep is disturbed.  So tired, but the mind says, “hee hee hee, you stayed up too late, you fool!”

Are you in a transition?  This will help:

  1. Start slow.  Try falling asleep 30 minutes earlier than the night before.  Try it a couple times a week and slowly progress until you’ve reached your desired bedtime.
  2. Don’t eat sugar late at night.  Don’t drink it either.  Your mind will have no problem keeping you awake.  Sugar = not a good sleep, same with caffeine.  Your body changes as you get older, so sugar and caffeine might not have bothered you before, but times are a changin’.  Knock it off.
  3. Read before bed.  Or take a long, hot shower/bath.  Anything relaxing will help.  What won’t help is staring at the computer, playing video games or watching a stress inducing TV show with lots of drama.

The early bird really does get the worm.  I never understood, but now I do.  If I don’t work out in the morning, it’s usually not happening.  This is coming from someone who used to work out at 8PM almost every night of the week for a long ass time.  The transition is possible.  Start small.  You got this.

What I’ve Learned in My 20’s

In about one week (9/25), I will turn the super exciting age of 30!  I cannot wait, the 20’s were fun, but they were confusing, depressing, awesome, exciting and everything in between.

Here’s what I learned in my 20’s..

  1. What you do in your 20’s shows up in your 30’s.  Listen to your Mom when she says, “wear sunscreen every day and take off all your makeup at night.”  I’m SO happy I got into yoga at 23.  It’s a skin-saver.
  2. It’s okay to go a different route.  I thought I had to have a career with benefits and work the 9-5 to make my parents happy.  When I told them this, they said, “You are not a 9-5er.”  Lesson learned.  Make yourself happy.
  3. You have control over your life road map...for the most part.  You don’t HAVE to do anything.  You make the choices, you say yes or no, you make or break commitments and that is that!  (of course there are some things that you have no control over, like, your boyfriend cheating, jobs getting cancelled, being diagnosed with a mental disorder, breaking your foot, etc.)
  4. If you aren’t making enough money, do something else! If that means getting uncomfortable, do it!  Don’t wallow in your misery, make changes NOW!
  5. You can change your body at any point in time, it’s not a quick fix, but hard work pays off.  In my twenties, I suffered a lot with this one.  “I’m not skinny enough, I don’t weigh what I want to weight, blah blah blah…”  Entering my 30’s I am damn proud of what this body has allowed me to do!
  6. You will lose people.  I am not just talking about death, I am talking about the peeps who you considered best friends.  Life will change.  People will get married, advance in their careers, have opposite schedules.  Make time for the friendships you value!  Time is so precious.
  7. Family is the most important.  How awesome is it to get older and know you always have someone you love to hang out with?  I love that at any moment I can call my sister and see if she wants to hang out or go get pedicures.  She makes me laugh harder than anyone in this world.  That is awesome.
  8. Your parents are usually right, unfortunately.  This one makes me want to take off in a full sprint.  The longer you live, the more experiences you have, the more chances you take, you learn…every time.  Parents make mistakes and they either repeat them or change.  Learn from them, they’ve been through more and that’s true at any age.  They will always be older than you.  Remind them of this, it makes them happy.
  9. Trust, mutual respect & honesty is where it’s at.  Bottom line, without these 3 things, relationships don’t have a chance in hell.  Throw in some humor, intelligence and attractiveness and you have got yourself a life partner.
  10. Do things you shouldn’t.  There were times when I knew I shouldn’t… but I did.  And I learned a TON.  Sometimes it’s fun to get into a little trouble or be bad.  Not to the point where it’s going to ruin a relationship or career, but take a walk on the wild side and let your hair down!  You can always blame it on “being in your twenties!”

30th Birthday, I am sliding in with a Hunger Games-like cape and a personality like Lucille Ball!