Start your day with gratitude
“My whole day is about hitting the ground running, so when my alarm goes off in the a.m., I do just the opposite,” says Marni Aspen, a public relations intern. “While I’m still in bed, I get into child’s pose. I then do a series of cow-cat Poses, and end with child’s pose again. While I’m going through these good-for-my-body yoga moves, I’m giving thanks for what I have and asking for strength to get through my day. The whole production takes less than two minutes, but centers me like nothing else.” Aspen’s mere minutes of me time are probably doing more to sustain her mind, body, and soul, than she realizes. The benefits of gratitude include elevated energy levels, increased feelings of self-esteem, heightened intelligence, and a fortified immune system.
Sneak in some me-centric shopping
Even if your budget is maxed out (whose isn’t?), strolling through stores or the mall can be soothing—shopping releases the brain chemical dopamine, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, and it may even give you some great ideas for revamping outfits you already own. “How about allotting extra time to do your errands, and then sneaking in some time to go into a store and look at things you enjoy? You will then have me time, handily squeezed into errand time. That’s a very good trick many of us use,” confides family psychologist Barbara Greenberg, PhD. If the thought of stealing away for a few extra minutes makes you feel guilty, window-shop online while waiting for a doctor’s appointment or even in an elevator. “We all need me time—it’s our way to get replenished,” Dr. Greenberg adds. “Without it, we risk getting depleted, exhausted, depressed, or physically sick. Me time is not only good for our own well-being, it is also good for those around us, because mood is contagious. If we take good care of ourselves, those we care about are likely to feel better, as well.” To make time for some extra shopping, check out these 20 little tips that will make running errands easier.