Read a book.

“She loved balmy August evenings.  Loved walking barefoot across the beach, the touch of the fading sun on her skin and the soothing sensation of warm sugar sand sifting through her toes…”  (An August Bride)

We are towards the end of what has seemed a cold, long winter.  These words brought back such nice memories and nice hopes of things to come!

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I wasn’t surprised recently to read that reading a book can increase ones life span and sense of well being.

Watch a 50 second clip…

“Josie Billington, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research into Reading, University of Liverpool, helped to conduct this research. She explains that reading can help to improve well-being:

“Reading not only helps to introduce or reconnect readers to wider life systems and more broadly shared meanings. It can also remind people of activities or occupations they once pursued, or knowledge and skills they still possess, helping to restore their sense of having a place and purpose in the world,” she writes.

“It can also remind people of activities or occupations they once pursued, or knowledge and skills they still possess, helping to restore their sense of having a place and purpose in the world.”” (World Economic Forum)

May I encourage you to make time, find a book and enjoy.  Encourage those around to read too, it’s just an all round great activity!

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Photo Credit: reloveplanet.com

 

 

You’ll feel better after a good nights sleep.

I have been trying hard to blog twice a week, and sometimes it is difficult to find the time. As I sit here tonight I was contemplating ‘to blog or not to blog’ when I remembered this quote I had found on sleep.

Rottenberg cites from a number of sleep studies:

Mood is lower after even one night of sleep deprivation. Moreover, brief experimental sleep restriction induces bodily changes that mimic some aspects of depression. It’s important to ponder the consequences of sleep deprivation now happening on a mass scale: more than 40 percent of Americans between the ages of thirteen and sixty-four say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights, and a third of young adults probably have long periods of at least partial sleep deprivation on an ongoing basis. Over the last century average nightly sleep duration has fallen. In 1910 Americans slept an average of approximately nine hours; that average had dropped to seven hours by 2002.

Part of the answer to the riddle of low mood, then, lies in contemporary routines that increasingly feature less light, less rest, and more activities that are out of kilter with the body’s natural rhythm.

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Photo Credit: rewordit.org

How often have you heard the phrase “You’ll feel better after a good nights sleep” ?
It seems that research is now showing that there is actually a lot of truth in it.

As parents, we need to be encouraging our kids to have good sleep habits and as adults many of us need to be putting ourselves to bed earlier! Our whole sense of well-being is effected by our sleep.
I realise that on this blog I have not written the how to any of this but just showing the facts of the importance of sleep – but I really need to stop and go get a good nights sleep!

 

I went fishing!

Fishing has never been high on my list of things to do. Somehow I have a child who loves it! It amuses me when I see in my children a passion for something that seems random to the family culture. (Although his Grandfather was a keen fisherman in his youth.)

On this particular day it eventuated quite spontaneously to go fishing with the lovely visiting family next door.

There were 5 children and 3 adults. The day was very cloudy, balmy, incredibly still and occasionally light rain would fall. The water was clear and we could see the fish teasing us in the water. We had one knowledgeable adult amongst us who patiently got the children set up, rescued the fish off the hooks and was such a calming coordinator of the expedition. There were enough small fish caught to keep the kids happy, not to mention the crabs and a lot of re-baiting as we feed many other fish as well.

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What amazed me was the peacefulness of the day, but it was not there straight away. There was the high excitement at the beginning and then we all settled into the moment. I could feel my body slowly relaxing and it was like layers of stress peeled off.  I could see the kids  finding a space in this new world. As I sat back and surveyed, there was such stillness amongst the activity. Sometimes the kids would be by themselves just watching the water and their line, sometimes there would be voices asking for help or sometimes shrieks when a fish was hooked. But each person was just being, by themselves and yet we were so together.

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It seems that we are living in a time where there is an epidemic of  burnout. Not just for adults but also for children. The term ‘ill-being’ can be used as compared to ‘well-being.’  It can be difficult for adults to find the time to look after themselves. Just finding the time to get the required sleep, healthy food, fun, enjoyment and down time seems to have become a challenge. And, as adults we need to be teaching kids how important these elements of life are.

There is so much vying for our attention that it is easy to ‘focus on the superficialities  rather than what has meaning in our lives. A result of this is people may be more withdrawn, less empathic and isolated. We are becoming more and more distracted in this age of distraction. We need to take a moment and think.’ (Marsha Snyder MD Positive Health: Creating a healthy flourishing life)

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PERMA is an acronym that I have mentioned before. It is what Dr Seligman sites as being needed to lead a flourishing life.
Positive Emotion – Engagement – Relationships – Meaning – Achievement

We didn’t take any fish home (the up side of that was there was no cleaning of fish), but we did take home adults and children who were more relaxed, connected and thankful.

So, bring on the fishing I say!

 

 

Blow the cobwebs away!

Do you know the feeling? You’ve had a hard day at work, or a hard day at home with the kids, or just felt out of sorts, then you take a walk outside or a bike ride or run and find that things are not that bad after-all?

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Being outside and in ‘nature’ can help to get things back into perspective.

Now, living in a world of so much research, the scientists have proven it!

“According to environmental psychologists, exposure to nature offers a number of benefits:

  • Better health
  • Reduced stress
  • Faster recovery from illness and injury
  • Less aggression and violence
  • Improved memory and attention span
  • Higher test scores and graduation rates
  • More creativity

Richard Louv even coined the term Vitamin N to describe how the mind/body/nature connection can enhance physical and mental health.”

If you are interested to read more, here is the link  from Positive Psychology News Daily

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Photo Credit: wallaad.com

So, next time you feel overwhelmed or you notice that your kids or class need some ‘fresh air’, take the opportunity to get out and enjoy the sun on your face, the wind in your hair and take some deep breaths to help your general well-being.

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Photo Credit: dailyburn.com