How to give the world a better you by taking some time for yourself

You wake up in the morning, slowly wipe the sleep from your eyes and roll out of bed. Suddenly, it hits you — it’s Monday. The weekend has flown by and you’re facing another work week.

In this moment, how do you feel? Are you looking forward to the week ahead? Or do you already wish it was Friday? Are you energized by the opportunities and challenges you face? Or are you anxious, depressed or feeling overwhelmed?

Breathe

Sometimes, you just need to take a deep breath or two. Try to set aside some time every day for yourself. A few minutes of quiet can help you center and approach life’s problems in new ways.

I’ve been a personal trainer for eight years and there is one thing everyone I work with struggles to maintain — alignment. No, I’m not referring to your spine or your car, but rather balance in life.

Many of us race through our days without ever thinking about what our passions are. We rarely stop to consider our goals, or to take positive action toward them. It’s no wonder alignment is so difficult. The biggest problem might be we’re never thinking about it.

I see alignment as a balance of mind, body, and spirit. Easy enough, right? If only. Chances are while you’re reading this paragraph, you’re also thinking about what happened yesterday at work, what’s going to happen tomorrow, why I’m wrong, what you’re hungry for, and so on and so on. We live in a world made for short-attention spans; we rarely focus on the here and now. And how can we balance our “here” when we’re not remaining mindful about our “now”?

The good news is there are some simple things you can do to move toward alignment.

• Focus on one activity at a time. Multi-tasking is so overrated.

• Take 10 minutes of quiet time to just be. Turn your phone, your TV and your computer off. Ask the kids to give you a teensy break. Close your eyes and try to center yourself.

• Write about your day in a journal. You may find that there’s more going on that you realized.

• Spend quality time with friends to talk, share, and listen (again, off with the phones).

• By practicing mindfulness and taking small moments to recognize what’s actually happening in your day, you’ll find there’s a lot more to you and your life than you ever realized.

MikeTenganMichael Tengan is owner and a certified personal trainer at Prime Fitness and executive director of Sweet Annie, an organization committed to championing a healthier lifestyle for Hawaii’s communities. Sweet Annie focuses on food access, health education and lifestyle changes. Tengan grew up on Maui, more comfortable with plate lunches and mac salad than quinoa and legumes. His journey toward living a healthy lifestyle was a long one, and involved breaking the bad habits he learned as a kid.

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