Don’t worry, be happy: Simple tips to balance our work and lives

Unsplash CCO images by Brooke Cagle, Jean Gerber, Josh Felise, Gabriel Silverio, Jacob Owens, Matthew Smith, Lotte Meijer

MISSOURI,  April 2017- On the subject of moderation, Stanley Kubrick (director-The Shining) said: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Joline Godfrey (entrepreneur) expands on that saying “All work and no play doesn’t just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery, and openness to change and flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention.”

It is Oscar Wilder who tells us “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”

But it may be our wisest of founders, Benjamin Franklin, who said it best “Moderation in all things – including moderation.”

Living to a ripe old age myself, there is something to be said for celebration, and for moderation. For those lower on the age ladder than myself, I offer the following, however as Mark Wahlberg (actor) says “You have to take everything I say with a grain of salt.”

Food: Yes let’s enjoy our meal but with moderation and balance. More vegetables and grains over sugar and fat. But by moderating your entrees, savoring that which you crave, but finding fullness in lower calorie choices, you have extra calories for a guiltless dessert.

Drinking: Alcohol may be the number one vice we must take in moderation. A cocktail or glass of wine before dinner is a wonderful way to unwind and have a few moments of social conversation with your spouse or family. But that is far different from drinking to excess and the reaction of that action – from personal illness to possibly causing a driving accident, killing yourself or worse, someone else.

Work: Do you admire or pity the person that puts work over personal relationships and living life to its fullness. Yes, there are times we have to put long hours into our job but it should not be consistent – the number of hours you work is one area of your life where moderation should rule.

Worry:  We all worry maybe about work, money, children, health, our homes, and our futures. And the biggest impact of all that fretting may be in our sleep, or lack thereof. In 2014, estimated that ‘for the entire U.S. workforce, this adds up to an estimated $63 billion in lost work performance due to insomnia each year.

How can you get to sleep easier at night?

  • Reduce noise – from a snoring bed partner to street noise that infiltrates your bedroom, block the noise with Sleep Phones and relaxing soundtracks or, that old trick mom used to use, an online book.
  • Relax your body with progressive relaxation where you mindfully consider the muscles in your toes, feet, lower legs, thighs, lower back, upper back, shoulders and down your arms, your neck and your head. As you consider each group of muscles, from the tips of your toes to the tip of your noise, draw in a deep breath through your nose, contract your muscles, hold them for the count of ten while slowly “sighing” your breath out through your mouth.
  • Open the window blinds and wake with the sun shining brightly. On the other end, go to bed at the same time each night while you avoid caffeine, sugar or salt for a few hours before lights out.

The one best thing you could do before going to bed is to find your happy place. Listen to a favorite song, read a favorite book (but no backlit Kindles or other electronic devices that cause wakefulness), or listen to a favorite song.

I have done this most of my mature life and for me it works. As Bobby McFerrin’s Song goes “Don’t worry, be happy” and drift to sleep with a smile on your face, and in your heart.

However, that’s a Time and Place I am from-

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