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Zzzz’s

Sleeping deeply for six or more hours allows our brain to rejuvenate, our body to restore itself, and our minds to take us into some interesting dream worlds.

Adequate sleep can:

  • Improve our health
  • Enhance our sex life
  • Decrease our chronic pain
  • Lower our risk for injury
  • Improve our mood
  • Provide better weight control
  • Help us think more clearly
  • Increase our immunity
  • Improve our memory

(WebMD, retrieved 2016)

How I add this to my life: I am fairly consistent about getting to bed and waking up at the same time each day. I feel my circadian rhythm works best when I have a pattern that I keep.

And you?

Yielding

Letting something go, allowing life to flow, getting out of our own way can be liberating, as well as challenging.

 Yielding can:

  • Bring inner peace
  • Lower pulse rate and other stress-indicators
  • Provide mental and emotional space for something new

 (Huffington Post 2015)

How I add this to my life: I admit to this being a challenge for me (one of the last posts I’ve written, because of its difficulty).

And you?

Xercising

Stretching or running, walking or cycling, tai chi or yoga—the opportunities to move our bodies are extensive.

Exercising can:

  • Boost our immune system
  • Help prevent heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity
  • Help prevent stress and depression
  • Increase positive self-esteem and general mental health

(Wikipedia: “physical exercise,” retrieved 2016)

How I add this to my life: My favorite form of exercise is walking, which I try to do daily. I am fortunate to have an indoor track nearby that I can use if the weather doesn’t allow a walk (although it’s nowhere near as pleasant).

And you?

Wandering

All who wander are not lost. Sometimes, it’s the journey, not the destination or goal, that is important. This type of wandering does not require physically changing location.

Wandering can:

  • Encourage self-discovery
  • Provide an opportunity to hear a still small voice within to guide us
  • Change our perspective
  • Allow insight

(Giguere 2015)

How I add this to my life: My friend Cherry marks out a weekly “No Plan” day on her calendar and allows herself the time to do what moves her, what comes her way that way, whatever happens. I like this idea and tried it but discovered I keep forgetting about it. I haven’t marked off a day in months… perhaps time to do it again?

 And you?

Volunteering

Sharing your time without expectations in return toward greater good in the world, volunteering is a choice as to when, where, how, and for how long you want to do something.

Volunteering can:

  • Provide skill development
  • Improve socialization opportunities
  • Allow personal growth
  • Expose us to professional opportunities
  • Help lower mortality rates
  • Increase functional ability
  • Lower rate of depression in elders

 (Corporation for National and Community Service, retrieved 2016)

How I add this to my life: I find opportunities all over! I facilitate a writing group at the HIV center each month, I have worked with the IRS to file taxes for low-income folks, I lead hikes, I have worked at the battered women’s shelter, I have spent time in my daughter’s school. My problem is to keep my volunteering under control so there is time for me!

And you?

Uncluttering

Organizing and removing unnecessary objects from our home and our life can provide order, lightness, and neatness to our space (both internal and external).

Uncluttering can:

  • Save us time, money, and stress
  • Allow us more personal time and calmer relationships
  • Provide structure for prescription compliance
  • Open up space to use equipment and appliances
  • Cut down on dust and housekeeping needs!

(Good Housekeeping 2014)

How I add this to my life: Each spring (now!), I go through drawers and closets to remove unused items. I also try not to purchase anything that’s unnecessary by asking:  do I need this, do I like this, do I have a place for this?

 And you?

SHsh

Being still, finding a place to be quiet, finding a place that is quiet.

Quiet can:

  • Improve academic performance
  • Lower stress and increase productivity for those in a work environment
  • Prevent hearing damage
  • Allow the natural sounds of the earth to be heard

(Utne 2009, Evans et al. 2000)

How I add this to my life: Spending time in nature, keeping noise to a minimum (no radio or TV unless I am actually watching/listening).

And you?

[In the spirit of providing daily commentary, I’m adding digraphs, those two letters that unite to consistently form a single sound, to my A to Z posts.]