How to cope with summer

It’s hot, you’re supposed to be on holiday and enjoying yourself, but did I mention it’s hot? You’re working but shouldn’t be. You’re not working but should be. Summer is hell and sometimes it’s as hot as there.

The Positivity Blog has a lot of advice on how to chill out in every sense. I’m not keen on all of it but I like this one about what to do when you’re not working, when you are on holiday:

Go slow. You’ll be less stressed. And you’ll enjoy all the people, sights and experiences so much more because you’ll naturally take the time to appreciate them.

10 Small Ways to Make this the Least Stressful Summer of Your Life – Henrik Edberg, Positivity Blog (10 June 2015)

You could also bring some work with you. That’s my contribution here.

Read the full piece.

Twelve Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety

The Positivity Blog – seriously, could that name be any more Hallmark Card happy clappy? – spends its time being very cheerfully upbeat about everything but once in a while it does hit home with a smart piece. This time it has solutions to when your stomach is churning. We’re creative people, we churn for a living, so I reckon even if one or two of the dozen methods help us out, it’s worth looking into. Although one of the suggestions is to do a workout, so, you know, already it’s 11 Powerful Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety and 1 to Increase it.

1. Breathe.

Sit down, in a quiet place if possible. Breathe a little deeper than usual and do it with your belly and not with your chest. For just a minute or two focus on only the air going in and out of your nostrils. Nothing else.

This will calm your mind and body down. And it will bring your attention back to the present moment instead of it being lost in scary, future scenarios or bad memories from the past.

12 Powerful Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety – Henrik Edberg, Positivity Blog (8 April 2015)

This isn’t on my mind because as I’ve got three speaking engagements back to back now. I might just breathe out a little and go re-read the full piece. Mind you, advice number 2 begins “Get Good Knowledge” and that phrasing gives me pause.

How to fall asleep in seconds

Look, if this works for you then that’s great. I offer that exercises to make you sleep sooner at night have more of a chance of working if you’re ahead on your work and aren’t worried about your mortgage.

But there’s this doctor, see, who doesn’t agree:

You simply breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds.

When you feel stressed or anxious, adrenaline courses through your veins, your heart beats at a rapid rate, and your breathing becomes quick and shallow…. [The] effect of the breathing technique feels almost like a sedative drug, because in order to hold your breath for seven seconds and then to exhale for eight—when your breath is so shallow and short—your body is forced to slow your heart rate. It has no choice. Holding your breath, and then slowly, deliberately exhaling for eight seconds, causes a chain reaction. It feels like going from a mad-dash sprint to a finish line to a slow, leisurely, calming stroll through the park.

How to Fall Asleep In Less Than 1 Minute – 99U

Read the full piece on the 99U website for more.

Relax, you’re not that busy

Stop thinking of relaxing as a ticket to laziness and build free time into your day. Relaxation relieves stress, lets you enjoy the moment and improves your problem-solving skills. So take naps. Breathe. Meditate. If you’re always rushing, develop a morning routine to set a calmer tone for the rest of the day. Don’t be so busy you’re not enjoying the precious little time you have on this earth.

How to Stop Being Busy – Sasha Graffagna, SuperheroYou (2 June 2014)

Read the full piece for more interesting and sobering, even correctly chastising thoughts.