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30-minute Sanity Check

When Steven Covey wrote “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” he probably never imagined that years later people would still be looking to this guide for direction.  But how do you really put those practices into place when our lives are so crazy?

I vowed never to make New Year’s resolutions, but this year, I made one for me.  I call it my “30-minutes to Sanity.”  I have spent the last 15 years traveling a grueling schedule, meetings all day, sometimes with hundreds of people in the room all at once.  Noise, and lots of it.  Airports, traffic, conference calls.  So, I decided that 2013 was my year to do one thing for myself each day.  One quiet thing.  While it doesn’t always work out that way because sometimes life, work or whatever gets in the way, it still remains a commitment.  So put it on your calendar.  Why do it? It gives our brains a rest.  And with laptops, mobile devices and trying to keep up with social media . . .our brains (and bodies) never really get a chance to rest.  You might do it in the morning before work, over lunch or to end your evening.  It doesn’t matter when, it just matters that you do it.  Here are some things that I do to take advantage of a 30-minute sanity check:

  • Play with the dog:  Studies show that the simple act of playing with your dog can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and calm nerves.  And, it’s good for Fido, too.
  • Step outside:  Sunshine, fresh air and flowers provide sensory stimulation that help calm the body. (Unless it’s winter, then you’re burning calories to keep warm so it’s a cardio exercise!)
  • Make a cup of tea:  The British already grasped this idea years ago.  The simple act of getting up from your desk, brewing a cup of tea and sipping it quietly can be rejuvenating.
  • Organize something:  Being just a little OCD, messes make me crazy.  So sometimes, my 30 minutes is cleaning out a drawer, organizing my suitcase for my next trip or simply scanning documents so there is not so much paper on my desk.

You get the idea.  And to make it even more fun, buy yourself a fun, funky kitchen timer.  Set it, forget it and go relax.  Thirty minutes from now, you’ll feel better.  Thirty years from now, you’ll be so glad you did.

Posted by Diana Van Blaricom, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Epicor HCM

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