Monday, June 22, 2015
Sitting is Hazardous - Breathing Space Blog
An excerpt from an article in The Week
"If you work at a desk, you should get up on your feet
for at least two hours a day to avoid the serious health consequences of
prolonged sitting, a panel of scientists has recommended. The average
office worker sits for 10 hours a day, then heads home to spend the
evening glued to a television or computer screen.
A growing body of
research has found that hours of sitting triggers a destructive chain
reaction in the body, slowing metabolism, altering hormones, raising
cholesterol, and weakening muscles; over time, the result is heightened
risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, cancer, and a
shortened life. Scientists say, in fact, that prolonged sitting does as
much health damage as smoking cigarettes. And the negative effects of
eight to 10 hours at a desk can’t be undone by exercising before or
Labels: cholesterol, danger, health, hormones, metabolism, muscles, risk, sit, stroke
Monday, June 15, 2015
The Wisdom of Slowing Down - Breathing Space Blog
Joseph Bailey in his book “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life
,” has some profound observations. “My enjoyment of life has everything to do with being ‘in the moment’ and that the only thing that keeps me (or anyone) from being fully in the moment is our misunderstanding of the nature of our own thinking -- how it pulls us away from the moment, confuses us, and stresses us."
"I realized that everything I ever needed is right here, right now -- as long as my thinking doesn't carry me away from this moment. I learned that there is nothing in the future to rush off to that can offer me anything more than this precious moment that you and I are in every instant. I realized that, more often than not, my mind is somewhere else -- a past regret or a future worry, anywhere other than right here."
"My first reaction to this insight was to feel a deep sense of peace. I felt like I did in the happiest days of my childhood. I felt relaxed, at peace, fulfilled, satisfied. At the same time, however, this message made me uncomfortable for two reasons. First, it was too simple. The answer had been right under my nose all my life."
"Why had I been searching so hard and stressing myself out
in the process? I felt stupid and foolish. Second, as a teacher in my field, I felt not only that I had misled myself by running on the treadmill, but that I had done the same to hundreds of clients and professional colleagues as well. We had all been innocently searching outside of ourselves.”
Labels: Bailey, fulfillment, happiness, moment, peace, present, rushing, slow, stress
Monday, June 08, 2015
Save More, Stay Healthier - Breathing Space Blog
I first wrote about this phenomena in 1989 in the 1st edition of Breathing Space
, and now it is confirmed by a study
: "More workers who make saving a habit report better health than those who do not. And it's not just about having a high income."
"People who save money out of habit are more confident about retirement
and better prepared financially, as you might expect. But there’s a
sleeper benefit, new research
shows. Consistent savers also are in
better health -- no small matter as longevity stretches out life spans and
means you likely will live in retirement more years than you did in
Labels: financial, habit, health, longevity, retire, save, savings
Thursday, June 04, 2015
Blog: Living Above the Frost Line - Breathing Space Blog
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Yoga: Risk and Rewards - Breathing Space Blog
The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards
by William J. Broad is a book that explains why yoga, as beneficial as it can be in some respects, can also lead to some undesirable results.
Labels: breathing space, exercise, health, risk, science, yoga
Monday, May 18, 2015
What is Work-Life Balance? - Breathing Space Blog
As The Work-life Balance Exper
I define work-life balance as the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life with sufficient leisure. It is attaining focus and awareness despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for your time and attention.
Work-life balance entails having some breathing space for yourself each day, feeling a sense of accomplishment while not being consumed by work, and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations. It is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within 24-hour days, seven-day weeks, and however many years you have left.
Several disciplines support work-life balance though, individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance:
1) Self Management
Sufficiently managing one's self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that life, time, and available resources are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship; no one is coming to steer for us.
2) Time Management
Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you can only keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important OR urgent. It entails understanding what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.
3) Stress Management
By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, noise, and distractions, independent of one's individual circumstances, require each of us to become more adept at maintaining tranquility and being able to work ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, while focusing on one thing at a time helps decrease stress.
4) Change Management
In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods, adapting old, and re-adapting all methods is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves offering periodic and concerted efforts so that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.
5) Technology Management
Effectively managing technology requires ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, spear, flint, and wheel. Today, the rate of technological change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often you have no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but rule technology, don’t let it rule you.
6) Leisure Management
The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges the importance of rest and relaxation- that one can't short-change leisure, and that "time off" is a vital component of the human experience. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one's activities.
Achieving work-life balance does not require radical changes in what you do. It is about developing fresh perspectives and sensible, actionable solutions that are appropriate for you. It is fully engaging in life with what you have, right where you are, smack dab in the ever-changing dynamics of your existence.
Labels: change, fulfillment, leisure, management, productivity, stress, technology, time, work-life balance
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Beware: the Post-Vacation Slam - Breathing Space Blog
Holidays are arriving... Would you like to minimize stress following your travels? Suppose your time away from the office is ending. Once back at work, you have a stack of messages on your desk. Your mail is eight inches high. There are memos, reports, and announcements all over the place. You experience extreme pressure to catch up. The moment you return, the whole world seems to falls in on you.
? Plan your trips so that you return before you announced you would. Include a "decompression" phase in your plans; your trip is not complete until you comfortably reintegrate yourself. Also:
* Take one less vacation day and build in a day for transition and decompression rather than coming back too abruptly.
* Avoid returning to work on a Monday; it's already a high-pressure day.
* Instruct others to handle or reroute as many phone calls as possible; and to segment your mail and other papers that come in. Return to a clean office and a clean desk.
* Unpack all your bags quickly. You may be tired, but the task will only be more burdensome later. Put all notes and papers in their place as soon as possible if you ever intend to act on them.
Labels: holiday, office, pressure, stress, time management, tips, travel, vacation