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5 Things You Accomplished On A Lazy Day

5 Things You Accomplished On A Lazy Day

If you’re feeling bad about spending a day being lazy, don’t! You accomplished more than you intended when you skipped the gym, didn’t catch up on any work and saved cleaning the house for Monday. That’s right, sleeping, eating junk food and watching TV all bring health benefits. Here are five of them:

1. If you took a nap, you strengthened memories and reduced inflammation and stress.

The benefits of sleep are clear. It’s while sleeping that you sharpen your mind and practice skills learned while you were awake. Sleep restores alertness: improving concentration and decreasing the chance of mistakes when you are awake. In contrast, lack of sleep has been linked to depression, anxiety, increased weight, weakened immune system and an increased risk of heart disease.

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So go ahead and get some shuteye. For best results, the experts recommend keeping your nap to about 20 minutes. Any longer can leave you tossing and turning when it’s time to go to bed at night.

2. If you listened to music on your lazy day, you decreased anxiety.

In a study, listening to music before surgery lessened patients’ anxiety more than prescription medication. Music has also been linked to lower levels of cortisol, which is known to contribute to a thick midsection, so turn up the tunes and break out the skinny jeans.

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3. If you ate ice cream, you strengthened bones and teeth.

When you tucked into that ice cream, you got a serving of calcium, protein, and vitamins A, D and K. Regular calcium consumption has been proven to ward off osteoporosis. Studies have linked calcium intake to reduced weight and weight gain prevention. Lack of calcium, on the other hand, causes fat cells to store fat and enlarge.

To make your ice cream indulgence even healthier, choose low-fat, soft-serve or sherbet and top your sundae with fresh fruit for antioxidants and vitamin C. Try to stop before you’ve consumed the whole container. Recommended serving size is half a cup.

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4. If you caught up on your favorite comedies, you relaxed your entire body.

Laughter has been shown to relieve tension, reduce stress and relax muscles. Additionally, laughing has been linked to increased immunity and lower risk of heart disease. It really is the best medicine!

Laughter can be considered a light workout. A study at Vanderbilt University found that adults burn 1.3 calories per minute on average when laughing. It’s not as much as you would burn on a treadmill, but it’s more than you would burn sitting still. Should you choose a sad movie over The Daily Show, you can expect to burn about the same amount by crying. No word on how many calories you burn yelling at the TV while watching your team.

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To make TV watching even healthier, channel surf with friends. Laughing strengthens relationships and attracts others.

5. If you called a friend, you might have lengthened your life.

Studies show good friends are good for your life. Your social network can help you recover from cancer and other major illnesses – even more than family, according to a study. Friends can also help ward off colds and cardiovascular disease. Buddies help you feel connected, boost self-confidence and help you cope with life’s setbacks. It’s been said that friends are the family we choose, and it’s nice to be chosen. Friendships teach loyalty, honesty, trust and all the other traits we value in fellow humans.

Your pals can also encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle. A little healthy competition leads to making healthier choices. Consider clipping on a pedometer and challenging your BFF. You can celebrate your success with ice cream while watching your favorite show together. Then go home and take a nap.

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5 Things You Accomplished On A Lazy Day

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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