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I’ve been having a great last few weeks–work has been going well and I’ve been having lots of fun with friends and family. I’m also paying more attention to my body when it says “Slow down and take a rest.” This has greatly improved my overall emotional health and I’ve been in a pretty fantastic mood! I wanted to write about how thankful I am that I began meditating however long ago it was (it seems like years and years!); this has made me feel more in tune with my body and its needs, which then feeds into my mental and emotional health.

When I pay attention to what I need physically, such as more sleep, more nourishing food, or more exercise, and take the time to give myself those things, my overall mental health improves. I know it’s not rocket science to figure out why this is, but it’s so easy for many of us to forget to take care of ourselves when we have so many other things and people in our lives that also need care and attention.

Last night, I went with my sister and brother-in-law to take my nephews trick-or-treating and I had a wonderful time. I got to spend time with my family and then I left at a reasonable time to come home and go to bed. I knew I needed a full night’s sleep and because I listened to what my body was telling me, I’m ready to do all the work that I need to accomplish today.

The next obstacle to tackle will be to eat healthier, more nourishing foods. I haven’t been eating as well as I should be recently and I know my life would be improved greatly if I could get a handle back on eating well again. Once I accomplish that, I’ll be ready to take on the world ;-).

How about all of our readers out there–have you noticed that your quality of life improves if you change just one thing in your daily routine? If so, what is that one thing?

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This week, I’ve realized what a big difference it makes to stay on top of the little things at work and in my personal life. Even in the midst of a crazy week, I now know that I should always¬†make time to stay organized, and clutter-free; it makes me feel more accomplished, even if I’m doing the bare minimum to get by!

I was busy at home and at work, and I neglected to clean up my personal and work email inboxes. I’ve spent most of today going through and cleaning up/organizing my inbox and it is amazing how much more free I feel! I hate having lingering issues/questions/loose ends in my email, especially at the end of a long week. I like to go home secure in the knowledge that I did my job that day to the best of my ability, and being organized is one of the ways I measure that.

I’ve also neglected doing my usual day-to-day maintenance around my apartment: picking up clutter, clearing off counters, etc. Clutter, as you can probably tell, makes me anxious so to have let some surfaces around my place get that way means that I had a crazy week! Rather than stress myself out by ignoring the details in my life, those are the smallest things I can take care of to ensure that I have a smooth week.

What about you, readers–do you have any tips for staying sane during a particularly hectic week?

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Finally! Today is the first day in I’m not sure how long that the sun has been out for more than 5 minutes! It’s doing wonders for my mood. I haven’t been in a bad mood, per se, for the last couple of weeks (basically the entire time that the weather has been less-than-desirable), but the humidity, cloudy skies, and rain has certainly taken their toll. Usually, I love cloudy and rainy days; they make me feel like I can go home and get comfy with a blanket, a hot cup of something to drink, and a good book. But many cloudy and rainy days in a row is overkill.

Does anyone else feel that the weather affects their mood and emotions and then, subsequently, their physical health? I’ve felt run-down and sniffly for a couple weeks now (I truly think the humidity wreaks havoc on my allergies) and that has affected my drive to get anything done at work or at home. Truthfully, my apartment looks like a hot mess at the moment. You’d think that during bad weather it would be the perfect time to tackle any indoor projects I’ve been meaning to do, and I had just that intention! But with the consistent bad weather, I lost my motivation. I just wanted to sit and do nothing when I got home from work and on the weekends. Usually, I would say this is fine! Do what you want! But for me, too much of that put me in a less than stellar place in life.

I’m taking full advantage of this weather today–I’m going out to dinner with a friend tonight and it would be wonderful if we could walk around before or after. It’s just so nice to finally have not only sunny weather, but¬†cooler weather. I’m most definitely a fall kind of girl, so I say bring on the scarves, sweaters, and thick socks :).

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I have been so busy these past few weeks and though I feel tired and overwhelmed sometimes, at the end of the day I feel such a sense of accomplishment. I went through a period of a month or so where I felt down, behind in work and in things around the house, and overwhelmed with life in general. It was a bad feeling and I wish I could have done something about it earlier. However, I recently came out of that funk and I feel better than ever. I was finally able to give myself permission to be human and to be me, with all of my faults and positive attributes. I’ve been more productive at work and when I get home at the end of the day, I feel ready to tackle a project. I allow myself to relax for a bit after work and that gives me the mental and physical energy to keep going and doing what I want to do.

So give yourself permission to relax if you need it. Or work out. Or dance or laugh or cry. I felt overwhelmed for a few weeks because I was trying to do too much without letting my body rest. I won’t make that mistake again. I’m meditating regularly, eating reasonably well, and trying to stay active. I’m taking care of myself and I feel great about it. So give yourself a gift once in awhile–take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Don’t ever feel that everyone and everything should come before your own sense of well-being, because that’s just not practical. How can you take care of others if you need to be taken care of, too?

How do you practice self-care, dear readers?

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My lunchtime view at work.

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