How I Relax (without technology)

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Sometimes decompression is necessary.  After a long day of getting work done or running around, an hour or two of rest can feel so good!  I have certain goto ways to decompress that have so far worked wonders!

Read//

I’ve made a couple posts about books I enjoy (this one and this one) so clearly reading is a good goto for me!  There are so many books out there that you can decide if you want some light fluffy reading or something more serious or thought-provoking.  Depending on my mood, I like to mix up the books I read.

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Knit//

My grandma taught me how to knit and it’s so relaxing!!  I like to knit while listening to music (preferably the John Mayer Pandora station) with a nice cup of tea next to me.  Once you get the hang of knitting, the repetitive motion let’s your mind wander and you it’s such a good decompressor.

Card Games//

A good card game can fun!  Especially if it doesn’t get super competitive and is just a fun way to relax.  It does involve finding someone else willing to play but if you can do that, you’re golden!

Life can get busy and work can get hard, but finding ways that allow you to relax without pulling out your phone or turning on the tv can work wonders on calming down the mind.

How do you like to relax?

xo Carolyn

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7 Tips for a Long Drive by Yourself

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I’ve been making longer drives by myself for awhile to my hometown in Kentucky and to my college and know these drives are going to get more frequent after starting school.  I’ve never driven longer than seven hours by myself but any long drive can get rough by yourself.  Luckily, through trial and error, I’ve developed some strategies for making the drive easier on the mind and body.

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1// Be Prepared Mentally

If you start the drive by accepting that it is going to be long and could be rough in parts you’ll be much better off.  Yes, you probably will run into traffic and no you don’t have control over a lot of what goes on along the way so it’s okay to play some things by ear and be ready to change gears.  Alternate routes might become necessities and as long as you know that’s a possibility you’ll be fine.

2// Snacks and Drinks

I make sure to have easy to open snacks within an easy reach, generally in the passenger seat.  I also always have water in the cupholder, again in an easy to open and drink out of bottle.  I don’t want to have to be fiddling with wrappers or water bottle lids while on the interstate.

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3// Good Music

A playlist is the way to go.  You don’t want to be fiddling with the radio every time you change cities and you don’t want to deal with commercials so developing your own personalized playlist is the way to go.  Make sure you update the playlist the night before so every song is something you’ll want to hear because you don’t want to be skipping through every song you own trying to get to a good song.  I use Spotify and have different playlists for every trip I’ve gone on.  I can share those in a later post!

4// Podcasts

The last drive to Centre I listened to a podcast the majority of the drive and let me tell you it made the ride go by much faster than I expected!  I prefer podcasts with a storyline and not just interviews or information.  The last one I listened to was S-Town and I would highly recommend it!

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5// Stop When You Need To

This is something I’ve struggled with.  The very first long drive I did by myself I had to drive through a horrible torrential downpour for 45 minutes and by the time the rain stopped, I had no desire to get off the highway so I never ate dinner and just barely made it to my destination with the gas I had.  Since then I’ve made sure to take care of myself and my car by trying to coordinate when I ate and got gas.  Luckily for me I’ve been making the same long drive so by now I know the best exits for stopping.  That’s something you’ll probably have to discover along the way.  It’s hard to prepare for this sort of thing.

6// Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you are trying to get somewhere by a certain time, make sure you give yourself at least an extra hour and a half for stops and random traffic jams.  Hopefully you won’t need that much extra time but it’s better to be early than late because you didn’t give yourself enough time.

7// Wear Comfortable Clothes

I would hope this goes without saying, but wherever you are headed you can wear comfy clothes.  Even if you are driving straight to some formal event, there will always be a bathroom to change in.  I’m all about comfort when it comes to driving on mini road trips.  There is hardly ever a time when comfortable clothes won’t work.

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Traveling is what you make of it.  If you let yourself get stressed out or nervous about it, it won’t be fun.  Long drives by yourself don’t have to be horrible!  Jamming out to your favorite songs in the car without fear of embarrassment can be the one thing making the drive bearable!  I wouldn’t say I look forward to long drives, but I’ve learned enough to not stress or be worried about it.

xo Carolyn

8 Tips for Beating the Afternoon Slump

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I don’t know about you, but come 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon I’m ready to rest.  It doesn’t matter what time I woke up in the morning or what I was doing all day, around that time I hit a wall.  Sometimes it’s fine to just chill with Netflix for an hour, but other times it’s more important to keep moving and stay motivated for the rest of the day.  I’ve developed just a few tricks that I tend to use when I need to stay motivated and keep my energy up for the rest of the day.

1. Coffee

Sometimes all it takes is a chai tea latte to give me that final push to finish.  That little jolt of caffeine can be all it takes to keep the energy up until dinner.

2. Exercise

This can be the hardest thing to do when you are facing a slump, but it can also be the most affective.  However exercise can mean something as simple as taking a walk or doing one of the 5 minute workouts you can find on Pinterest.

3. Go Outside

A breath of fresh air can be the simplest way to gain the momentum to continue on through the day.

4. Eat a Snack

A small handful of nuts or some other kind of protein can help get you moving.

5. Clean Out Your Inbox

Deleting all those annoying emails and unsubscribing from all those sites you never knew you joined the email list for can feel super wonderful.

6. Listen to Music

Jam out to Ed Sheeran’s new album or whatever it is you like to listen to and get pumped up.  Create your own “Get Psyched” playlist to help inspire productivity and a good attitude.

7. Create Something

I’ve talked about this on another post but it’s worth mentioning again!  Sometimes getting creative like drawing, playing an instrument, or writing can give that motivational push to finish out the day.

8. Make Plans

I feel like it’s always mid afternoon when I start to make plans and I think it helps give me something to look forward to!  If I know I have a coffee date for the morning, I’ll feel inspired to get things done now so there’s nothing to worry about when I’m out with friends!

I am in no way an expert on getting out of slumps but these are tricks that help me.  What do you do to wake up and get motivated to finish the day strong?

xo Carolyn