Two-Tip Tuesday: Digital Detox Challenge



iphone Glued to HandLast week I accepted the challenge of a digital detox. Inspired by an article written by Aarona Ganesan, my favorite coach, Jill Keuth started a group on Facebook to support brave souls taking this plunge. The concept is taking a break from your digital addictions. It started as not touching your phone for the first hour of the day upon awaking, but also addresses wherever you have electronic addictions throughout your day-to-day routines.

This past week, I have made some pretty big behavior shifts, ranging from not checking email in bed, to looking at Facebook during mealtime, to canceling cable. Note: this is not a requirement, just something I have been pondering for a while, and finally did it! And let’s face it, no one should start checking email before their first cup of coffee, just sayin.So, here is my challenge to you: Explore where you can add stillness and quiet to your day. Only you know your issues in the digital wasteland. So, try to eliminate something. Today’s tips will help you with a little digital detox of your own, and add to the challenge.

Relax Melodies AppRelax_Melodies

Sometimes it is challenging to sit in complete silence. As I’ve been playing around with different meditation techniques, I’ve noticed that it is much easier for me to sit in stillness with a little background noise.

Relax Melodies (free app for Android and Apple), is a fantastic way to create a variety of sounds ranging from basic white noise, to a babbling brooke, to a roaring rain storm.

You can compile multiple sounds on top of each other and control the volume of each. There is way to save them into your favorites, allowing you to keep track of your favorite renditions.

In addition, there is a timer setting, allowing for you to time your meditations, go to sleep listening to ocean wave bliss, or even set an alarm for the morning.

Warning: Creating sound combinations can add to your digital addiction. So, try to keep it simple in the beginning, and even consider using the pre-composed melodies.

Eliminate Notifications iphone Notification Hell

Having email, Facebook, Twitter, and any other notification on my phone is a huge challenge for me. Part of it is my OCD to keep my screen clear of blaring red numbers begging to be opened, but it is also a constant distraction. I constantly feel compelled to open an app the second a new notification pops up.

The simple solution?

TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS!

It sounds so easy, but it is slightly painful to do. Just remind yourself that there is a pretty good chance you will be receiving emails and social media updates all day.

Set a specific time aside to check all of your email, etc. at once. This will not only help with efficiency, but can aid in removing some of the glue attached between your phone and your hip.

If this isn’t a big enough challenge, try taking social media apps off of your phone all together. See what it is like to eat a meal without looking at your phone.

Try it for a week…I dare you!!

As always, I want to hear from you! Hit REPLY and let me know what you are cutting out and how it is going!

Two-Tip Tuesday: Travel Edition



Ka'anapali, MauiAs I began to pack for my annual family vacation a few weeks ago, I realized the ridiculousness of the multiple lists and stray papers strewn around the house when getting ready. Every year we take the same trip and essentially bring the same things, with a few modifications.

As much as the loving list maker that I am, I figured it was probably time to get a new system.

Are you a seasoned traveler, or do you get pains in your stomach and night sweats the week before a trip at the thought of getting your family packed and shipped off to your destination?

This weeks’ tips are a few simple ways to help the panicky sort bring some semblance of balance and order into your packing regiment.

 

Packing List Apps packing list app

Packing lists are a given so why reinvent the wheel every time you take an excursion?

Of course certain items change depending on the type of trip you take and the time of year, yet there are basic necessities to always pack, regardless of your destination.

Try managing your lists on an app like Evernote, which allows you to create and store lists, notes and travel documents that can be accessed from all your devices. This solves the challenge of thinking of something while away from your handwritten list, so you can add to it while you’re mobile.

There are some great apps out there designed specifically for packing, as well. Check out Suitcases for $0.99. Another great one, PackPoint, is free (and for both Android and iPhone).

Of course there are many more like these. As always, please let me know your favorites!

 

Packing Cubes EagleCreek Packing Cubes

I learned my lesson the hard way this time. I usually try to pack my kids in their own suitcase and a separate one just for me. But since one bag didn’t make it onto the plane last year, I decided to try spreading everyone’s clothes between the two bags, just in case.

The result? Utter chaos and clothing mess when we reached our destination. Although we stayed just a few days on the first leg of our trip, I destroyed both bags searching for certain underwear and the “right” beach cover-up.

The solution? These handy-dandy packing cubes! I’m sure you’ve seen them before, and quite frankly, in the past I mocked their over anal-ness.

But now I see the light.

The cubes save you from unpacking and repacking several times—or from making a mess while digging. These particular ones from the Container Store come in different colors. You can find different shapes and sizes, in different brands, anywhere.

Have you tried them before? I’d love to get your opinion!

Two-Tip Tuesday: Meditation Made Easy



People often tense up when they hear the word meditation. It can seem like a completely daunting activity, which requires aPurple Flowers with Floating Candles image | Rejuvenate with Healingperfectly clear mind, and the ability to twist yourself up into a pretzel.

If you haven’t heard it already, I’m here to tell you that it is simply not true. Meditation can be as uncomplicated as you want it to be. In fact, you may not realize it, but there are activities you are already doing that are indeed a form of meditation.

Here are a few simple tips to help you get you going. Even if you don’t have a meditation practice or have no interest, these are easy, useful techniques to bring yourself into a state of calm and relaxation.

If you want to learn more about how to create this calm in your inner world, work with your own energy, and increase your intuitive skills, join me this Thursday, from 7-9, online or in person for the Energy Balancing & Healing Workshop.

Breathing

I know suggesting the idea of following your breath can sound like a broken record, but it truly is the easiest way to calm the nervous system quickly.

Try this different technique when you have a quick moment. Sit in any comfortable position (or stand, or lie down, or whatever feels good).

Take a deep breath, and when you can not longer inhale any more air, pause at the top of your breath and count to five. You can count in your mind or even use your hand and five beautiful fingers for assistance.

As you exhale all of your air, pause again at the bottom of your breath and count to five again.

Repeat several times and you will begin to feel your body and mind coming to a much more relaxed state. You will also find that your mind doesn’t have as much of chance to wander as you are focusing on counting.

Do not try this technique if you have any lung issues or if you have anxiety that comes up with holding your breath. You can always adjust the time of your counting, but if you feel panicky, try just counting your inhales and exhales without holding your breath.

Exercise

This is a friendly reminder that meditation does not need to be a seated, focus on your breath, drive yourself batty with your monkey-mind activity.

There are many ways to add meditation into your daily life and exercise or any physical activity is one of them. It doesn’t have to be running or physically strenuous to reap the benefits. Find something you love. It could be walking, swimming, yoga, weights, cycling or whatever.

Acknowledge that time as a gift to your body and spirit. People exercise for many different reasons, but the next time you are getting physical, set the intention that this can be a meditation practice for your mind as well.

Meditation is all about being present in the moment. There is no better way to be present in your body than when you are moving it, in one way or another.

Listening to music is always helpful, but just once, try it without. You may hate that suggestion and that’s ok, but I challenge you to try it once and see what you notice about your surroundings. Listen to the birds chirp or the breeze rustle the leaves. Or maybe hear the sweaty, grunting meat head in the gym.

Let me know how this goes. I would love to hear from you!

© 2013-2015 The Art of Balance, LLC | WordPress theme, Anthology, designed by Pexeto and customized in collaboration with Jackie Flynt Studio