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5 Things To Do in 5 Spare Minutes

5 Things To Do in 5 Spare Minutes

A character in my favorite book once complained that people waste too many small time slots while waiting in line at a store, waiting for a bus to arrive, etc. He suggested that these time slots should be somehow ‘banked’ away, and then claimed back. That would be so handy! We don’t have that luxury widely available yet, though.

Here are 5 things to do in 5 spare minutes that you might encounter during your day:

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1. Call a friend or a relative

Is your bus running late? Have you called your grandmom this week? Now is a great time to pick up your phone and make that phone call.

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2. Snap some photos

Is your bus running late? Snap some photos of objects/streets/stores around you. Can’t see anything conventionally ‘beautiful’? Pay closer attention. Anything can be interpreted in a creative way.

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3. Do some exercise for your eyes

Digital screens tire our eyes out very quickly. Try a simple set of exercise for your eyes to ease the fatigue: look up and down, left to right, ‘draw’ diagonals and circles with your eyes, and then look far away. Repeat as often as needed.

4. Exercise!

Tabata intervals work great for that. Tabata training is a four-minute mini-workout that consists of 20-second intervals of exercising and 10-second rests. Here’s my favorite combo: Jumping jacks, push-ups, high knees, squats! Listen to your favorite song while doing that to make things more fun… or, you know, you can always just dance intensively to that song.

5. Have a silent conversation with yourself

We talk to others, we ask for people’s opinions, we make meaningless small talks every day. It is easy to forget to pay attention to your own feelings and ideas. Next time you have 5 minutes, ask yourself what mood you are in, is anything bothering you, or just ‘discuss’ a creative idea!

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More by this author

Mariya Boyko

Mathematics teacher, curriculum developer

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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