Whenever you are having a particularly frustrating day, and need to vent, look no further than the following website. Trust me, if you give it a try, you’ll know why I felt compelled to share it with my readers.
Simple Yet Effective Self-Care Tips for Entrepreneurs — And Why It’s So Important You Make Time for Them
Check out this very informative article by Jason Lewis, targeted towards entrepreneurs to help them learn how to practice self-care.
Jason Lewis is a personal trainer, who specializes in helping senior citizens stay fit and healthy. He is also the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created StrongWell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.
Most entrepreneurs are of the notion that they have to clock an inhuman number of hours each week to obtain some semblance of success. This is the only explanation for the fact that 33% of small business owners put in an average of 50 hours per week and another 25% clock 60 or more. Yet, while many of the world’s most successful business owners agree that a nine-to-five workweek just won’t cut it, most also concede that self-care is an integral component of long-term success. If you have plans to make it big in your industry, take time out of your busy schedule to treat yourself.
The Case for Self-Care
According to Psychology Today, self-care is a key driver of leadership and workplace success. Below are a few benefits of self-care that back this assertion:
- The most effective self-care activities, which include eating healthy, working out, getting enough sleep, and spending quality time with the people you love, are all known workplace performance enhancers.
- Self-care keeps you from working more, which actually helps your productivity. Research shows that working more than 50 hours a week produces zero productivity gain.
- Self-care activities boost your creativity and confidence and decrease your stress and anxiety.
- Self-care prevents career-crippling crises from occurring.
Now that you understand the importance of self-care, explore ways you can incorporate it into your schedule for the most impact.
Get Plenty of ZZs
Successful people may burn the midnight oil or wake up at the crack of dawn, but rest assured, they sleep. According to a CNBC report, some of the most successful people — including Jeff Bezos, Tobias Lutke, Bill Gates, and Lebron James — get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. So, wake up or go to bed at whatever time you want, but be sure you clock your eight hours.
Hit the Gym
Exercise is important regardless of how you choose to make a living. However, if you won’t rest until you find success as an entrepreneur, then get moving. Per one survey, 76% of some of the most incredibly successful business leaders workout for at least 30 minutes each day. Research shows that exercise releases brain chemicals that improve memory, boost concentration and increase mental awareness.
Exercise does not have to be your typical weightlifting and running routine. Richard Branson plays tennis and kitesurfs. Jessica Alba does yoga and Krav Maga. Oprah averages at least 10,000 steps per day.
Remember to Breathe
Though relaxation seems like the opposite of productivity, you need to take a breather if you want to have more energy to put toward your business. Relaxation techniques will vary for everyone, but a few of the more effective ones include listening to music, writing, walking, and simply breathing. It also doesn’t hurt to say no to tasks that add a lot of stress and little benefit to your life.
Another way to relieve stress is by choosing to structure your business as an LLC. An LLC comes with numerous tax advantages, limited personal liability, minimal amounts of paperwork, and ample flexibility. They are easy to form on your own or via an online formation service — call the Zen Business phone number for assistance.
Find Ways to Save Time
As an entrepreneur, you may feel like you have to do it all, but know that you really don’t. In fact, by outsourcing menial but still important tasks, you can save time, money, and energy — all of which you can put toward the growth of your startup.
Self-care is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur. Start showing yourself some compassion today by doing any of the above. Reach out to Stacey for the fitness and nutrition guidance you need to be your best self!
Image via Unsplash
How Many Plants Is Too Many?
The year 2020 seemed to blow the lid off plant addiction and hoarding. More people than ever before have developed an obsession for houseplants, which makes sense since we have all pretty much been going stir crazy since the beginning of COVID-19 and lockdown. It makes sense that we all turned to these beautiful, air-purifying, living things to enhance our home spaces and give us something to focus on besides our troubles.
There is a fascinating psychology behind collecting plants which differs from accumulation of inanimate collectible items. Houseplants can have an incredibly calming, stress-reducing effect on us, and they also nicely soften the look and feel of home environments while also cleaning the air. In addition, the rewards of watching a plant thriving under one’s care are considerable. I know that every time one of my plants pushes out new growth, I get almost giddy with excitement.
To be honest, I don’t even remember precisely how last year’s plant obsession really started. I remember seeing and ordering two Epipremnum cebu blues on May 27th, and two Zamioculcas zamiifolia ravens on Etsy on May 31st, two weeks after my father’s passing. After that, it’s kind of a green blur. My indoor plant count is now at 140. That’s enough for me, because I have run out of reasonable space.
I think my dad’s death, the lockdown and hysteria surrounding COVID, my two roommates suddenly bailing on me, the loss of work, the fact that my weekly in-person visits with my mom were halted for six months, all pushed me into a very specific nesting mode. I wanted to spruce up my place, and make it cozy and cool. I added an outdoor fountain which immediately attracted mosquitoes during the warmer months (lesson learned, but I still have the fountain). I added comfy pillows to all the seating in my living room and den, imparting a Bohemian vibe which I really enjoy.
After lockdown began, I had no desire to hoard things like clothing or little knick-knacks, though I know other people who began accumulating such items. Instead, I wanted all the plants which caught my eye, living things I could nurture and watch grow, which also helped to melt away my stress. Though I am not one of those people who talks to their plants or names them (a select few have names…more on this in another post), I am aware of every single plant in my home. I know if a leaf is turning yellow, if a specimen needs to be rotated to get more even sun exposure.
So how many plants would be considered overkill? Though I think the answer is quite subjective, there is an interesting Australian article which analyzes the optimal number of plants one should have in a room:
Plants not only clean the air, they have a relaxing and calming effect on humans, so why have a limit on the number of plants to pack into a space? My personal take on this is that I think it’s a mistake to allow one’s plant collection to overtake essential areas in a home, such as a kitchen counter, coffee table, floor space in a shower, stairs, and doorways, with the last two creating hazards since they would impede a speedy exit if a natural disaster were to occur. It’s also a bad idea to put plants in spots where they clearly wouldn’t survive, such as a very dark room with no grow lights added.
I have my plants placed so strategically in my home that no one ever guesses that I have 140 indoor plants. Although I fully address the light and humidity needs of all my plants, I also make sure they harmonize with the space they are in and look like they belong where they are. I will never be one to buy a massive shelving unit or glass cabinet in which to shove my plants, because I think it looks supremely unattractive, and also ironically doesn’t showcase the plants optimally. Whenever I see a plant person with a large shelving unit which is littered with plants, I know that the plant person is the only one who can fully appreciate all the specimens on the shelves, because they all tend to get lost in one big jumble.
I’ve heard some criticism from a couple of close friends about my plant collection, but I know that they don’t have the same mindset that someone who is into plants would have, so I’m not bothered by the snide remarks. Ultimately, what matters is how a plant person feels about their plant collection.
My First Home Houseplant Tour – 120+ Plants!
Here is the first houseplant video tour I shot, which I did last month. My indoor plant count was over 120, and now (I am writing this on March 23rd), I have exactly 140 indoor plants. Believe it or not (and many of my friends won’t believe me when I say this), I am for the most part done with searching for plants to add to my collection. As I ventured into more exotic, rare, and challenging plant species, and acquired the varieties which were on my wishlist, I felt that I could finally focus on admiring what I had instead of getting myself into trouble and looking for more plants.
Besides, I am out of room. I bet there are plant people reading that last sentence who are saying, “Nonsense! Just make room! Take over your bookcases! Take over your counters!” I simply can’t do that, because I have this strange built-in aversion to having anything encroaching upon functional areas of my living space. I have a kitchen counter which I would like to keep using (but check out what I did with my kitchen counter to accommodate plants), I have a desk which needs to remain functional, and I have no intention of getting rid of my beloved books to make room for green things.
Those Crazy Plant People
If someone had told me at the end of 2019 that in 2020, I would surpass the level of plant of obsession I experienced in 2000-2002, I would have argued that it would never happen. Yet here I am, with over 100 indoor plants (119 at the time of writing this post, to be exact), still thinking about the next plant I intend to add to my wishlist. I am in good company too, because there is massive and ever growing community of plant fanatics which is knit together by countless social media plant influencers, Facebook groups, and online plant shops. As long as we continue to be sequestered in our homes and encouraged to continue to practice social distancing, the frenzy over hoarding plants is likely to intensify.
Plant people create plant communities inside their homes which serve as therapy and great comfort during the lockdown and social turmoil which has us roiled. There are times when I will walk around my home, surveying the lush environment I have created, noting the character of each plant, and I honestly appreciate them all. Then there’s the anticipation of ordering a plant online, which is akin to meeting a new potential love interest. I can honestly say that I have become giddy after finding a coveted plant and ordering it. And when a plant arrives in the mail, I want to open the parcel immediately, not only because I am concerned for the living thing inside the box, but I simply can’t wait to feast my eyes on the new addition to my plant collection.
Now that I am a “plant person” once again, I have picked up a tremendous amount of knowledge of nomenclature and plant care. I have encountered a number of other plant people who could definitely be accused of being plant snobs, using terms like “etiolated” or “pubescent leaves”, and showing disgust when someone doesn’t know what they are talking about. For the most part, though, plant people tend to be very positive, caring, and friendly.
5 Healthy Habits Seniors Can Adopt in the New Year
Please check out this excellent article written by Karen Weeks, which covers healthy habits which seniors can adopt in 2021.
By Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net
A brand new year is ahead of us, making it the perfect time to adopt healthy habits like eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, and spending time with loved ones (whether in-person or virtually). Below, Dr. Stacey Naito offers five senior-friendly habits that can be adopted in the new year — and how seniors can go about incorporating them in their lives.
1. Eat Nutritiously
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seniors need adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, B12, dietary fiber, healthy fats, and potassium in order to lead long and healthy lives. And fortunately, seniors can get all the nutrients they need by consuming plenty of fresh leafy greens, lean meats, beans, and healthy fats like avocados and fish. Supplementation may also be necessary if calcium, B12, B6, or vitamin D levels are low.
If you’re looking for some ways to eat better this year, try buying a new cookbook or two, purchasing a grocery delivery service, or visiting your local health foods store to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, healthy grains, and lean proteins. If you’re thinking of paying for a grocery delivery service, some of the best options for produce include Imperfect Foods, Misfits Market, and Farmbox.
2. Exercise Often
Like good nutrition, seniors need plenty of physical activity — including strength training activities, exercises for balance and flexibility, and aerobic activities such as walking, biking, swimming, or dancing. And fortunately, there are several things seniors can do to increase their physical activity in the year ahead:
Following along to exercise DVDs or online fitness classes.
Walking or biking alone or with friends (while practicing social distancing, of course).
Parking further away from store entrances when shopping.
Purchasing an elliptical machine, exercise bike, or treadmill.
Starting and maintaining a garden.
If you have a medical condition or you’re experiencing body aches or pains, a physical therapist can help you to select the best exercises for you. Plus, many physical therapists are offering virtual services amidst COVID-19.
3. Socialize With Loved Ones
Socializing is tough in the age of the coronavirus, but it isn’t impossible! With senior-friendly video chat software, online multiplayer games and apps, and safe in-person gatherings (like outdoor activities and walks with loved ones), seniors can safely spend more time with their friends and family members in the new year. Regular socialization keeps seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally well — and reduces their risk of cognitive decline and depression.
4. Keep the Mind Sharp
Speaking of cognitive decline, seniors should also make time for brain games and activities in the new year. Brain games keep the mind young and healthy, fight boredom, and improve overall mental well-being. A few brain training activities for seniors include:
Jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and word finds.
Classes on cooking, foreign languages, dance, or music.
Arts and crafts like knitting, scrapbooking, and upcycling.
Reading, coloring, and drawing.
5. Clean and Declutter
Clutter is harmful for a number of reasons. Not only does it create tripping hazards at home, but excess clutter often triggers anxiety, concentration issues, irritability, and even depression. So, if you’ve been feeling especially negative or depressed as of late, the new year is the perfect time to freshen up your living space by cleaning, decluttering, and letting in as much fresh air as possible. Redfin shares a checklist with some ideas for cleansing your home and creating a happier and healthier living space.
New Year, New You
It’s never too late to adopt healthier habits and take steps to improve your life, and these five tips will help you to tackle everything from changing your diet to eliminating excess clutter at home. No matter your age, the start of a new year is the perfect time to reinvent yourself and improve various areas of your life.
Looking for more health tips and advice? Visit Dr. Stacey Naito’s blog at staceynaitoblog.com.
Are Your Plants Making You Crazy?
I know there must be a whole slew of you who have jumped aboard the plant-obsessed bandwagon, and who treasure your new jungles as much as if they were your children. Trust me, I can relate, though this isn’t the first time in my life that I have gone plant crazy and filled my home with living green things.
The first time I went overboard with buying and maintaining plants was back in 2000, when I amassed a collection of over 70 indoor plants in a 2 bedroom cottage-style apartment, and I loved it. The idea of being surrounded by lush greenery was incredibly appealing, and I was swept off my feet until I went through a divorce which shifted my priorities and pulled me away from my plant hobby.
I took such a sharp about-face that I only had six indoor plants for many, many years, leading into the spring of 2020. Then shortly after lockdown hit, I found myself at a plant nursery in May and purchased three lovely plants. Little did I know that I was about to fall deep into plant obsession. By July, I had over 40 indoor plants, and now, I have about 60 indoor plants. Some were purchased through Etsy, many were purchased from a local supplier (@Brandontheplantguy on IG), and I even bought some from eBay and Amazon.
Though I feel a certain amount of embarrassment over the fact that my home now declares to everyone that I am a crazy plant lady, I take great comfort in knowing that such an obsession is almost trendy these days. The truth is, houseplants are more popular than ever, especially in millennials who are pushing against the idea of having children, and who are instead opting for a collection of Hoya or Senecio plants which will never demand that the plant parent pony up for a college education. That being said, having a plant habit can set one back quite a bit, not only in the cost of the plants, but also the planters, spring water, plant food, insecticides, etc.
Those of you who aren’t captured by the idea of collecting a bunch of potted living things might be scratching your heads and wondering why people have suddenly gone plant crazy. The COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns forced us all to stay at home, which meant that suddenly, our home environments took on a greater significance. This is why there was a surge in home improvement projects which kept the big box home improvement stores packed during a time when many other businesses were floundering. Plants certainly can beautify a home, and they also clean the air, but probably the most compelling feature about houseplants which appeals to most folks is the fact that they are living things, and with a bit of nurturing, they will grow and thrive.
That being said, plants don’t always thrive, and when they start to droop or otherwise show that they aren’t happy, plant owners may find themselves dealing with a lot of frustration. Another thing I have noticed about now being responsible for a brood of 60 indoor plants is that I often get pissy when a plant decides to become finicky. It can make a plant parent downright neurotic to try to determine what a failing plant needs. Maybe there’s too much sunlight and the leaves are getting scorched. Or maybe there isn’t enough sunlight. Could it be that the plant needs more/less humidity? Is the plant getting too much/not enough water? Are there pests on the plant which need to be eradicated? What, what, WHAT does this plant want or need?
Even the task of taking care of the plants which are doing well (thankfully, 99% of my plants are doing extremely well) is a daunting one. The one day per week when I look at all my plants and determine which need to be watered is a day I have begun to dread, because it takes a full hour or more for me to complete the task, all the while lugging jugs of spring water, plant fertilizer, orchid plant food spray, neem oil, my watering can, my plant log, and a stepladder all throughout the second and third floors of my home. It’s exhausting.
I know that plant people can relate to what I am about to say regarding plants which stubbornly refuse to do well despite everything, especially popular plants which are supposedly “easy care” plants. When a plant begins to show that it isn’t happy, I honestly feel like I have failed the plant. I get frustrated and want to figure out the solution to the plant’s woes. If the plant refuses to rebound, and is close to its demise, I adopt a very “fed up” attitude, and will very abruptly dump a plant in the trash or banish it outside. It’s the best way for me to disconnect from that irksome creature and get on with my life.
I now have a trusted list of plants I gravitate towards so that I don’t tear my hair out in frustration. Here are the plants which I truly do enjoy, because they are all doing well in my home:
- all my Zamioculcas zamiifolias (including zenzi, raven)
- all but one of my Hoyas (incuding shepherdii, pubicalyx, retusa, australis, multiflora, tricolor, carnosa compacta, lacunosa, and obovata)
- my Monstera adansoniis
- my Philodendron brasils
- the one Scindapsus pictus which didn’t die
- my Sansevieria starfish
- my Pachira aquatica
- my Beaucarnea recurvata
- my large Senecio rowleyanus, my Senecio herrianus, and my Senecio radicans
In stark contrast, there are plants which I have had little to no success with despite all my efforts. The plants which have stirred up a great deal of frustration include ALL peperomias, n’joy pothos, Tradescantia multiflora (quite possibly the messiest plant ever), Othonna capensis (tried two of these plants and finally gave up), and Begonia maculata. I now avoid those plants in the same way I would avoid a person I didn’t like, and certainly would never welcome them into my home again.
In conclusion, the healthiest way to approach plant ownership is to educate yourself on the particular needs of the plants you have, and if a plant begins to falter, just let it go instead of beating yourself up for not being able to save it. I actually found out that many nurseries will keep stocking certain plants because they know that the plants will be fussy. Since many people are stubborn about trying to succeed in nurturing a plant, they will often purchase the same type of plant repeatedly in hopes of somehow figuring out its needs. I know I did this with Scindapsus, Begonia maculata, Pilea peperomioides, Hoya wayettii, and every time one of these plants would die, I would take the loss personally, as if I was totally responsible. I’ve learned that it is not worth the heartache, not to mention the financial expense, to keep buying those plants.
Establishing New Boundaries With People
I was compelled to re-post this article, with a new title, because it always seems to have relevance. Lately, I have noticed that I have been spreading myself thin more than ever before, agreeing to donate my time and resources to people and projects I don’t necessarily feel are worthy of my attention. Though I have a very generous nature, I also become extremely annoyed when I notice that someone is taking advantage of my kindness and assuming that I will always open my door and my heart.
There have been a couple of situations I have allowed to get out of hand recently, in which I have sacrificed time which I need to devote to paid endeavors and life balance. It’s always difficult to pull back the reins and say no to good friends, but I have become increasingly resentful after finding myself rushing to get my chores done in time to donate my time on a regular basis.
This new determination to say NO when I have a plate which is overflowing is still something I struggle with, but enough is enough. Whether it is a brand requesting that I create a post for pennies, a friend asking me to provide personal training right smack dab in the middle of the day several days a week for free, people contacting me for curbside consults which they don’t want to pay for, or a supposed friend nickeling and diming me about my charges for medical treatments, I’m not nearly as amenable to doling out the favors as I used to be. I am mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially drained from saying yes altogether too often.
So do you find yourself agreeing to do something when you are either completely unmotivated to do it, or are so over-burdened by other responsibilities that you know you are taking on an impossible schedule? Maybe you’re known as the “nicest person” who always manages to make time for everybody no matter what. And maybe you don’t want people to think otherwise about you, despite the fact that your energy and your patience are worn thin by people who always seem to drain the very lifeblood from you, and expect you to do everything for them at the drop of a hat.
Have you ever considered using the word NO once in a while? By setting limits and boundaries, you will keep energy vampires at bay, and you give yourself a chance to balance out your life so that you don’t burn yourself out. I am sure that the people who have taken your availability for granted will be stunned when you respond to a request with NO, but they’ll get used to it. Whenever I gather the courage to refuse a request, a feeling of complete relief washes over me, especially if I feel like I am drowning in the wide expanse of my to-do list.
When you refuse a request, task, or invitation, you finally allow yourself to take a break. As long as you aren’t shirking responsibilities, you absolutely should feel like you deserve to clear the space around you, especially if you are in dire need of recharging your own batteries. There’s something I say to patients quite frequently, and that is, remember to put the oxygen mask over your OWN face. If you don’t nurture yourself, you won’t perform as well in all the roles you play in your life, whether it’s employee, boss, parent, spouse, etc.
It’s completely acceptable to draw the line in the sand, and to establish boundaries which preserve your sense of self and which keep your life, and your spirit, balanced and happy. If you are having difficulty asserting yourself and getting to the power of NO, then try this: whenever someone asks you for a favor or invites you somewhere, just say that you need to think about it or check your schedule, which is not a lie, and that you will let that person know soon. That gives you a window of time to evaluate the situation, and to determine if you have the time or the resources to accommodate the invitation or request.
Another important consideration is whether you have the inclination to take part in the task or event. Be honest with yourself! I see too many people agree to do things they don’t want to do, then they are steeped in misery. This doesn’t give you permission to be difficult, selfish, or uncooperative, but it certainly gives you some breathing room. If your heart isn’t in it, then don’t do it!
Remember that you will be better equipped to serve others if you take care of yourself first.
Let Your Heritage Lead You To Travel Destinations
Though I thoroughly enjoy international travel for a multitude of reasons, the most meaningful trips I have taken have admittedly been the ones I took in an effort to learn about my ancestral roots. The first time I went on a heritage trip was in September of 2014, exactly six months after I had ordered genotype testing through 23andme. Despite the fact that I already pretty much knew the bulk of my heritage (Japanese and Hungarian), I was even more determined to visit Japan and Hungary after I received the test results. It took me a full six years to visit Japan, but I was able to do so in March of this year, and made a point of visiting both prefectures which my grandparents were from.
It turns out that my determination to visit my ancestral countries, occurred right at the beginning of the surge in heritage travel which has swept the globe. One of the driving forces behind this boost in travel to ancestral lands has been the popularity of genetic testing kits such as the ones offered by 23andme. From personal experience, I can definitely tell you that a trip which is taken in an effort to learn about one’s heritage is definitely different from a trip which is taken for vacation purposes.
Thanks to AirBnB, people can stay in dwellings which are more reflective of the culture which they are visiting, and thus more authentic and rich. According to AirBnB, there has been a 500% increase since 2014 in travelers who use the AirBnB service to book accommodations and experiences. Close to 80% of these trips are taken either with one travel partner or alone, which suggests that these treks are indeed meant to establish connection with mother cultures.
It’s no surprise that AirBnB and 23andme have joined forces and are offering services specific to heritage travel on their websites. On 23andMe, customers who receive new ancestry reports, are now able to click through to their ancestral populations and find Airbnb Homes and Experiences in their countries of origin. Correspondingly, Airbnb has dedicated pages which correspond with 23andMe’s genetic populations, making it a breeze for customers to book accommodations in the countries which emerge on their reports.
If you’re thinking of booking a heritage trip but are hesitant, take it from someone who has not only visited her two main countries of origin, but who has also visited the other countries (Italy, Greece, Germany, France) which had popped up on the genetic testing report, and just GO.
Why Some People Ghost
Has someone ever just completely disappeared from your life, without any explanation? It is an incredibly confounding experience, and has occurred more than once for me. What blows my mind is that older adults, people in their forties and fifties, have exhibited this bizarre and rude behavior in recent years, so the phenomenon of “ghosting” cannot be pegged as a young person’s habit.
I honestly think that when a person ghosts anyone for reasons such as, they’re not feeling the same way about the other person (usually a dating scenario), or they have become bored with someone, the act of ghosting is truly a sign of immaturity and lack of emotional availability, which means that the ghostee is actually lucky to be cut loose. However, when someone completely disappears without an explanation, whether it’s a dating situation, a more serious relationship, or a friendship, the person being ghosted often grapples with extreme mental anguish because there is no closure.
Even if the explanation for the person’s ghosting on another might be painful to hear, I bet most individuals would prefer to hear that explanation instead of scratching their heads in bewilderment, thinking, what in the world HAPPENED? I completely understand that feelings can change, but I also was raised to believe that you should offer a reason why you no longer wish to talk to or associate with someone. If you don’t respond to texts, etc., and the ghostee can clearly see that you are doing fine, you are basically indicating to that person that they aren’t even worthy of any bit of respect. And while there are situations in which the ghostee might have done something egregiously wrong, in most situations, the person doing the ghosting is merely fickle, disrespectful, and narcissistic. That’s been my observation in every situation in which I have been ghosted.
What are your thoughts on being ghosted? If you have ghosted someone in the past, why did you choose to ghost someone instead of providing a reason why you wanted to discontinue communication?