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Taking Some Stress out of a Monday

istock_000015612296smallI know it’s nearly impossible for Monday NOT to cause some stress.  Just hearing the word Monday can make even the calmest of people a bit tense.  When a Monday happens to fall during an especially busy time in your already hectic life or after a whirlwind of a weekend, it can easily threaten to make the entire new week seem overwhelming.

While there’s nothing we can do to stop another Monday from coming, there are things we can do to minimize the stress levels in our lives.  Along with getting more exercise, another great way to relieve stress is to get a better handle on your schedule, particularly when it comes to prioritizing items on that never-ending to-do list. I’m a big fan of lists, and I make them all the time. The one thing I’m training myself to get better at is accepting the fact that it IS okay to NOT get everything on my to-do list done in one day. That’s where the prioritizing comes in, and that’s the main reason why the bulk of this Monday’s blog post borrows motivational words from others.

After a few unexpected surprises at the end of the work week, I spent the weekend on Long Island for my Mom’s birthday. There were lots of laughs, a little shopping, some good food and good spirits and even one big Northwestern University football game to watch for added excitement.  (I’m still crushed my ‘Cats lost, but they gave Ohio State a good fight!) On game day, I realized I hadn’t started a post for this Monday, and I started to stress about it. Then I reminded myself of two important things:

  1. Spending quality time with my family is your number one priority for this weekend (and beyond)  and
  2. This blog is supposed to be a positive outlet for my energy – not a source of stress.

On that note, I hope you’ll forgive me for borrowing some notable quotables for this week’s Motivation Monday boost. This allowed me to spend a little less time on the computer and more time with my family. I hope the following words will help give you what you need to kick off the new week with new energy to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn

“It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.”-Amelia Barr

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror, I can take the next thing that comes along.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this too, shall pass.” -Ann Landers

Make Your Workout Work For You

Getting to the tools you need for a great workout shouldn’t be stressful!

The fact that the word workout includes “work” makes it an unappealing concept for many people right off the bat.

That being the case, I decided to kick off the new week with this motivational tip: it’s easier to incorporate exercise into your daily routine when you make the workout work for you. One of the easiest ways to make that happen is to make it convenient!

I’ve been meaning to write about this fitness tip since it came up during a walk along the beach in Montauk with my dear friend Michele. Now with many back-to-school deals still being offered in many gyms, it looks like I haven’t missed my window of opportunity.

Obviously in this economy, we’re all looking for the best deals we can find on pretty much everything. However, here’s the bottom line: when it comes to a health club membership, I don’t care if it’s a free a month; one dollar a day for a year; or half-price for everyone else in your family; if it’s not convenient, chances are you’re not going to get there. When taking those five extra subway stops or driving 20 extra minutes becomes a chore on the first day of your I’m-going-to-workout-three-days-this-week plan, it can become all too easy to throw those other two days right out the window.

We’re all creatures of comfort to some degree. So whether  you’re planning to get your workout in first thing in the morning or at the end of your work day, it’s hard to find many people who want the extra burden of worrying about getting stuck in traffic or facing some other delay in getting to what’s supposed to be a physical and mental pick-me-up. If you’re going to stress over how much time it takes you to get your workout done thanks to extra travel, you’re bringing negative energy to an activity that’s designed to make you feel better. Exercise isn’t supposed to add to your stress levels. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to help keep them in check.

So on this Motivation Monday, remember this: exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. If you can’t find a gym near your home or office, think about adding some exercise DVDs to your movie collection to get moving in your den. If you hate the idea of being inside to exercise, look at places where you can walk or run near your home or office. Find a community center en route to work or near your kid’s school and see if they have fun group exercise classes at a time that works in your schedule. Keeping things simple is one of the best ways to stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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