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October, 2016

How to Stay Balanced When You Have A Million Things to Do!

By October 30, 2016 Balance, Blog, Career, Organsation and Planning

Sometimes it seems like life just gets busier and busier.  Are you constantly rushing around day long? Have even hobbies started to feel like a drain on your time? Or are you thinking “hobbies, who has time for hobbies?”?  It might be time to pause and restore some balance to your life.  Limiting time spent on certain things and taking the time to look after yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you will get less done.  To the contrary, if you have a defined time to get tasks done in, and start out refreshed and enthusiastic rather than exhausted and deflated you may be much more productive!

Here are 13 tips for finding balance in a busy lifestyle.

 

  1. Set boundaries and goals to stay focussed on what matters

Is work or some other aspect of your life taking over a lot more time than you think it should?  Assess what you want to achieve in this area, what is needed to achieve that goal and what is extra.  Create a timetable to allow you limits the time spent but that will allow you to reach your goals.

  1. Do a little each day; something is better than nothing

Having just been through one of the busiest periods in my life, I found exercise really, really hard to fit in/be motivated enough to do.  I am now fitting in just 10-15 minutes of exercise per day.  But it has actually made a huge difference in how I feel and is something that I can commit to as there is no excuse for not finding 10 minutes in the day!

  1. Actually…aim to juggle rather than balance

I’m a firm believer that if you really want to do something, then you can find a way to fit it into your life…at some point.  But no one can do everything every day.  There may be some things you can only spend time on a couple of times a week.  There may be some things that you want to try for a certain period at some point in your life (eg. run a marathon) but may or may not want to continue indefinitely.

  1. Take refreshing breaks, for example

-getting up for a few minutes after every hour at your desk

-having a mid-week evening out

-taking holidays; A great piece of advice I was given when I started working was that the best time to start planning a holiday is as soon as you get back from a holiday.  That way you always have something to look forward to.

  1. Indulge in a few little treats each day such as:

listening to an uplifting podcast on your commute, having a bubble bath, a hot cup of tea while reading a good book, a luxurious piece of dark chocolate…whatever helps you feel relaxed, positive or energised

  1. Take care of your body:

-have a generally healthy diet with some occasional treats

-get enough sleep, and ideally have a regular sleep pattern

-get some exercise, a little regularly is better than none at all

  1. Take care of your mind and spirit

-regularly stimulate your mind with new skills and information, thought-provoking books movies and  conversation, travel and generally get out of your comfort zone from time to time

-regularly relax your mind: read or watch something relaxing, consider trying a new stress-release technique (meditation, prayer, mindfulness, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation etc.)

-indulge your creative side: cook, bake, draw, paint, write, make music, dance, whatever you like

  1. Take the time to look fabulous

Ever noticed how the way you dress and groom can affect the way you feel and behave? Wear something that makes you feel confident and together.

  1. Invest in quality time with those you care about

-talk, have fun with and relax with family and friends

  1. Consider regularly doing something to help someone else

It might just help you feel better/more balanced/in perspective too.

  1. It’s OK to go “all-out” for short, defined periods of time

We all go through periods in life where there is some sort of major deadline (such as an exam) and one thing can take over almost every waking minute.  That’s OK, just try to make sure there is a defined end to this crazily busy time and maybe plan something to look forward to when it’s over.

  1. Remember…things change

Life is dynamic, circumstances change, we change… Roll with the punches and regularly reassess how things are working.  Consider if your schedule needs to be tweaked or if something doesn’t fit your life anymore and needs to be let go to create room for new things.

Have a wonderful week!

 

*this article first appeared as a guest post on www.nzgirl.co.nz

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Sultana Bran Autumn Apple Crumble -week-night dessert

By October 21, 2016 Blog, Recipes
a quick and easy dessert for weeknights

I love throwing an elaborate dinner party or doing a batch of baking in the weekend when time allows, but  so often, life gets busy and food preparation needs to be quick and easy.  And at these times of stress its more important than ever to eat food that nourishes your body and soul.

We have been enjoying an abundance of fresh autumn apples and the last of the summer berries.  This recipe contains the goodness of fruit, a lashing of something creamy, and a crunchy crumble in caramelized honey.  If you cook and puree or mash the apples in advance, it then only takes 5 minutes to put together

 Ingredients (serves 3-4)

2 cups of apple puree (fresh apples peeled, chopped, boiled and mashed)

1 cup of Sultana Bran (or other bran flakes)

2 T butter

2T honey

A dollop of crème fraiche or greek yoghurt per person

Fresh berries to garnish

 

Instructions

1.      Slightly crush the Sultana Bran so that the pieces are about ¼ the size of a whole flake

2.      Put the Sultana Bran into a small pot and add the butter and stir on high heat

3.      Once the butter starts to melt, add the honey

4.      Continue stirring until the the mixture starts to clump, and looks glossy and crispy, then take it off the heat

5.      Put the apple puree into dessert bowls and top with the Sultana Bran crumble

6.      Create a contrast to the warm crumble by adding a dollop of crème fraiche or greek yoghurt and garnish with berries.

Bon appetite!

a quick and easy dessert for weeknights

*this post was published first on nzgirl.co.nz

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