Category Archives: Internal

mental, emotional and other internal aspects that affect your overall well-being

Want to Change Your Life in 2021? START with Your Environment

Chances are you’ve come up with some pretty elaborate plans to trick yourself into being more productive.

Have you considered the role your surroundings play in your everyday life? It turns out that one of the easiest ways to bring about change in our lives is actually to change our environments. This is one of the first areas I thought of when I first started E-Class Ventures all those years ago. As a youth I often tried to change my room (as much as I was allowed) to improve my mood with varying levels of success. It ranged from constantly rearranging (pre feng shui craze) to try the make the most of very limited space to painting in perhaps not the best color palette for an already cramped room. All of that to say environment impacts your mood, productivity and this overall wellness.

What if the layout of your bedroom or the distance from your desk to the kitchen was impacting your productivity and decision making? There’s plenty of room for each of us to improve. Here’s how and why making some changes to your environment works.

Your brain is efficient
Making decisions is draining. (Heard of “decision fatigue”? It’s real!) We can only make so many choices per day before we start to run out of steam and need a rest. But we’re faced with countless choices every time we wake up! Should I go back to sleep? Should I shower or brush my teeth first? What will I wear to work? Should I try out that new shortcut to the office? It can become stressful for your brain to struggle with a choice every time one of these little prompts presents itself. That’s why we rely on decision shortcuts called habits.

A habit is just a routine that you regularly perform. Most of the time we don’t even notice that we’re engaging in a habit because it’s second nature to us. And there’s a reason for that. It’s your brain saving energy by going on autopilot to perform an action without having to make a decision. That way you can use the bulk of your mental power on unique and important problems that might pop up during the day, not on thinking about when you should brush your teeth!

Trick yourself into making wise decisions
What does your brain’s love of shortcuts have to do with your environment? Let’s look at an example.

Your alarm clock is right next to your bed. It goes off every morning at 7:30am. It doesn’t take you long to figure out that you can smack the snooze button and go straight back to sleep with hardly any effort. Before long you’re hitting the snooze button every time the alarm goes off without even thinking about it. You’ve trained yourself to sleep in later by making your alarm easier to turn off. But what if your alarm was on the other side of your room? What if to silence it you had to stand up, walk over, and hit a button? That simple change could give you the jolt that you need to wake up and get your day started on time!

Take a look at your surroundings and ask yourself what kind of behavior it encourages. Is it more convenient for you to grab a soda from the fridge or fill up your water bottle? When you work at home, are you in the middle of distractions like the kids playing or too close to the TV? At work (aka as home for a lot of us since the pandemic), does your office layout lend itself to productivity or socializing with your co-workers?

It might take some legwork to get started, but try to arrange your life in a way that makes wise decisions easier. You might be surprised by the results!

What’s one thing you’ve done to change your environment this year that has had a positive effect on your life? How are you going to continue our improve upon that charge for 2021? Share it below.

4 Big reasons to fix meals at home instead of eating out

Right now in the US we’re all at a certain level of sheltering in place at home. While we all love to eat out, it might not be as easy to do depending upon your location and what phase of reopening your community is in. So besides the obvious obstacle, what are some other reasons to eat at home or at least put eating at home in a positive light?

Spending some precious quality time with your family.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

In a lot of homes, family dinner was a thing of the past prior to this global pandemic. We were all just too busy doing other things outside of the home. This can be a good time to reconnect with your family, not just around the dinner table but in the kitchen during meal prep.

So many mothers in particular are sharing their frustration with having to make a never ending series of meals during quarantine. Get your kids to get in there and help. As the good book says:

 If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

Cooking with kids gives you an opportunity to teach them to make healthy food choices. It also allows them to have hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods. Just call it Home Economics! (Remember that class?)

Getting a refill on your drink as soon as it’s empty.

We’ve all been there. Even with the best waitress or waiter in the world, you end up sitting for a minute or two looking at the bottom of an empty glass. At home there’s no need to sing like Elle Varner; just get up and get your refill.

Another benefit is if you partake of alcoholic drinks, no worries over whether the drinks are being made with a really light pour. You know what we’re talking about; the barely there tequila in your margarita or the mostly Coke & a whisper of rum in your Cuba Libre. You know exactly how strong (or weak) the drink is going to be when you make it at home AND you don’t have to buy another drink for a refill.

Avoiding that restaurant markup.

Each ingredient at your favorite restaurant has a markup. (Obviously – otherwise they wouldn’t be in business very long.) But how much do you think they mark up their meals? 50%? 100%? Nope. The average markup for each ingredient at a restaurant is 300%! A $9 hamburger (that’s right – without cheese) at a diner would cost you less than $2 to make at home. If you’re trying to stretch your dollars, cutting back on restaurant-prepared meals can make a big difference.

Cooking at home can improve your health.

A recent study conducted by the University of Washington found that those who cooked at home 6 times per week met more of the US Federal guidelines for a healthy diet than those who cooked meals at home 3 times per week. In other words, if you’re eating at home more often than you’re eating out, you’re more likely to be getting in your fruits, veggies, and other essentials of a balanced diet.

Taking better care of your health and saving money? Now that’s a reason to fire up the backyard grill!
Wishing you wellness!

Sources:
Plate IQ: “Should You Get the Guacamole on Your Burrito? A Price Analysis of Your Favorite Foods.” 4.3.2018
ScienceDaily: “Cooking at home tonight? It’s likely cheaper and healthier, study finds.” 3.14.2017

7 Easy Tips for Living Longer — Dr. Eric Perry

Written by Dr. Eric Perry “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” ~Seneca Perhaps like some of you, I have had a few sleepless nights pondering my mortality. I am in love with my life and wish to have as much of it as I possibly can. I believe […]

7 Easy Tips for Living Longer — Dr. Eric Perry

Cooking 101 – Simple Tips And Tricks To Make You A Better Chef

By Will Hanran

When you’re thinking about taking up a hobby, consider cooking. Cooking is often overlooked because you are probably doing so much of it, but the truth is that cooking can be a wonderful source of relaxation for the home chef, as well as a way to create and explore. Here are a few tips to help your cooking exploration.

Make sure that you have the place settings set beforehand so that you can reduce the stress that you will have when you are bringing your food to the table. High levels of stress do not mix well when you are cooking, given the danger, so you will want to reduce this as much as possible.

When deep frying foods, hold the food below the oil with the tongs for a few seconds. Holding the food under the oil for around five seconds will create a useful seal around the food. This seal will work to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

To improve your level of convenience in the kitchen, one of the things that you can do is to freeze the excess sauces that you create, in ice cube trays. This will allow you to reheat them when you need sauce again and also to save money on the excess sauce that you kept.

As you cook your meal during the course of the night, make sure that you taste it at several different points. This will allow you to pinpoint exactly when it is done, so that you do not run the risk of overcooking it. Tasting your food is important to achieve the quality you desire. Looking for an indoor grill? Check out the electric Hamilton Beach Grill and see why this little indoor grill is big on features and flavor.

When it comes to cooking, a good habit to do after preparing garlic is to rub your hands on the stainless steel sink vigorously for about 30 seconds. This will remove the unwanted odor from your hands. Washing them less than 30 seconds will not take all the odor away.

When you are cooking for your family, try not to stick to one style. If you cook the same meal over and over, it can get boring and your family will become jaded with the dishes that you make. Change things up every night so that you can introduce new meals and cuisines to your family.

One important tip to remember when cooking dishes focuses on the size of the dish being prepared. The smaller the dish is that you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature and less time needed to cook the dish. Smaller dishes generally take only a few minutes at high temperatures to fully cook.

You may or may not have heard of schmaltz, but it is a very useful component when cooking. Schmaltz, otherwise known as chicken fat, is very rich. The flavor of schmaltz is deeper than duck fat and can be used for many things, such as cooking meats or poaching fish.

Plan your meals in advance. One of the biggest time wasters is engaging in the “what am I going to fix for dinner?” debate. Often, we could have dinner on the table by the time we fuss with examining the options. Over the weekend – or whenever your free time occurs – think through the upcoming week and loosely plan four or five meals you know your family will enjoy. This advance planning allows you the time to stock your fridge and pantry with the items you need.

Be certain to use only wines that you enjoy as ingredients in your recipes. You risk the final flavor of any dish if you make it with an unfamiliar wine or one with an off taste. Look through your grocery store to find wines that are used specifically for cooking.

If you and your significant other loves cooking, then consider taking a cooking class for couples! Couples cooking classes can help you explore new cuisines, enjoy each other’s company and also learn more about working together in the kitchen. A well-kept secret is that the guys enjoy these classes as much as the ladies and it often leads to the fellows taking a greater role in cooking at home.

Take these tips and use them in your dishes to make them come alive. Serve them to guests, bask in the compliments and then do it all over again. The wonderful thing about cooking as a hobby is that you can always recreate or create anew; you’ll always need something to eat!

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Will_Hanran/2496001

It’s not how many times you stumble…

Who out there has ever stumbled? Who has fallen off so badly it seems pointless trying to get back up? 

The proverbial they say it’s not how many times you stumble and fall, but how many times you get back up. But how do you get back up? Where does the motivation, drive or desire to get back up come from? Who else feels like they must have slept in the day that was being passed out or that they’ve use up their supply already? 

Self-care is one widely advised method of refueling the drive to keep going. But we have to beware of that sneaky feeling of guilt. Perhaps we’ve been conditioned to believe that any amount of self-interest is selfish. This can derail our self-care and send you spiraling into an even deeper depressed state. 

If necessary, actively and verbally (yes, out loud), give yourself permission to be selfish. Set a time limit on it if you can’t get comfortable with the idea. “I will be totally self-absorbed for the next two hours.”

Then actually put in the work. This CANNOT be some superficial ‘I’m going to get my hair and nails done’ time. You need to acknowledge the deep emotional and spiritual issues that brought you to the place of being burned out, depressed, staying down. Then get to work seeing how you can right them and build a system to avoid the pitfalls in the future.

If you’re reading this,  understand this is not another one of those articles written by someone who has not been through it. I’m actively in it right now; spent all of yesterday thinking about my failed suicide attempts and how much longer I had to wait on death. I get it. But writing this has been therapeutic for me and I’m taking my own advice today. Hope you get out there and do the same.